I never thought that I would crave coming back to site, but I did. The past week of tournee was amazing especially capped off with seeing a bunch of my friends in Dakar, but I really missed my personal space and the routine I've formed here in Thies. Luckily, we made the trip back to Thies in record time and I greeted my family who was genuinely excited to see me.
All the women were sitting around the kitchen getting the ceebu jenn ready for lunch. I will admit I also missed my sisters' cooking. They are really good. I told them all about my trip and showed them the pictures, which brought an onslaught of hilarious comments. My mom was appalled at some of the places I'd been. Most of the stops she considered very country bumpkin and not suitable for me. She was also very concerned that I had eaten bad food, which didn't meet her standards. My mom is absolutely hilarious. I love her (most of the time) and she is an elitist. I say this with all love and respect, but it is just too funny when we talk about any small town or village because she's generally horrified about life outside "the big city."
After meeting and greeting my family, it was time for my BIG task of the day and I do mean big. My mom had warmed me for this event and today it took place: my dad's side of the family bombarded me with wonderful packages. Luckily, I was warned and took my giant suitcase because when I arrived at the post office they immediately started laughing at me... I had six packages!
Shout Out Roll Call:
Aunt Diane, Uncle Wayne, Jenn, and Rachel (in spirit): I opened the first box and a Mexican fiesta hit me in the face! It was amazing as I uncovered nacho cheese covering more nacho cheese, salsa, taco shells, seasonings, and some pre-made meals I thought about gorging myself and dieing happily right in my room surrounded by the contents of my packages. Mexican is one of the things I miss the most and I can't wait to turn the Mexican fiesta box into a real Mexican feast over Christmas in Dakar. It's going to be amazing. You guys actually need to be thanked for two amazing packages. The second one had a ton of 100 Calorie packs and peanut butter crackers. Delicious. I ran through my supply on tournee so they are greatly appreciated as are the toys. I can't wait to break them out! I actually already used one of the Thanksgiving chocolates to bribe my little brother to go to the boutique and buy me a water bottle (making small children do things for you is one of the real perks of living in Senegal).
Aunt Cindy, Uncle Rich, Adam, Ben, and Sarah: Thank you for continent skipping and indulging me with some Italian delicacies. The gnocci was a huge hit last time and I can't wait to have it again... maybe with a side of pizza! I'm also really excited about the pesto sauce not only because I love pesto, but also because the color horrifies my family so when they see it they don't ask to try whatever I'm making! The pancake mix and Rose's caramel corn were also amazing. I've already stashed the presents under my bed and I'm hoping we can set up a Skype date with the family party so we can all open presents together!
Shirley and Sarah: The Chinese food looks amazing and has been one of my biggest cravings here. I can get Chinese in Dakar, but it's expensive so this will be a great treat! I'm also very excited to open both of your presents! Especially Sarah's! Shirley I also got a card from you today! You are the letter queen! And it only took 6 days! You sent it on December 1st. This should be a lesson to everyone that you should write letters... cheap and quick. Awesome.
Grandma: Thank you! Your box was a who's who of Alyssa's favorite Peace Corps treats! The Cliff bars are one of my new favorites, which I would have never requested if they hadn't been in the infamous Colorado goodies box and the dried veggie chips are usually the first thing I rip open and inhale when I get a package. The most unbelievable thing to emerge from my box was the balsamic vinegar. Unfortunately, I can't buy tomatoes around my house in the afternoon and was too lazy to walk to the market, but tomorrow I'm going to get some and have an amazing salad! I'm really excited.
Also, a shout out to Lynn. You sent me a letter on August 28th and I just got it today. It's quite a well traveled letter since it's been to South Africa and Spain!
The last package was obviously from my parents. Thank you and I'm glad everything got here safe!
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all. I have to admit that I was quite overwhelmed opening all of the packages, not only because I couldn't walk through my room until I did a couple of hours of organizing, but also because of all the thought, effort, and long letters I received. It was great. Thank you.
The perfect way to end an exhausting week and a great day? You guessed it. Chicken.
I'm about to pass out and dream of all the good food and I'm going (hopefully slowly and with some semblance of pace) devour.
Messy, but Warm
10 months ago