Yup, I'm actually doing it. I'm taking the plunge. Starting August 12th I will be in Senegal working as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Today is Christmas Eve and since I've been in a funk recently I thought that the holiday would only put me in a funkier funk. I'm doing a fantastic job at completely denying the holidays are happening. Being a Michigander, the 85 degree weather today didn't feel like Christmas, I'm not being bombarded with Christmas advertising, songs, and delicious food, and I'm not at my grandparents' house, which is the only place Christmas exists for me. Therefore, it is not Christmas. Logical. I was also feeling this way about Thanksgiving until the day of when reality set it so we'll see how I fare tomorrow.
Everyone was really chill in my family today and we had a great day. While Tabaski was fascinating from a cultural standpoint, it was a ton of work for everyone (killing a goat and cooking a feast is not easy) and I didn't feel like people really enjoyed the day. Today, no one went to work or school and we got to hang out and without distractions because we didn't have power for most of the day. Instead of a sheep feast Mamy made an amazing chicken dinner. We killed two chickens for the family (we usually kill one) and we (and by we I mean me because I'm the only who eats salad) had had salad with TOMATOES! It was awesome. And Mamy makes the best chicken. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the relaxed day.
I should backtrack and explain that most people in Senegal, although they are Muslim, also celebrate Christmas and Easter. My family told me it's to show solidarity with the Catholics in Senegal. Personally, I think all Senegalese people like a little excuse to party and who can blame them?
When our power finally did come on I got to skype with my family and Leigh and Jay! Yay! Thank you grandma for the wonderful presents. I gave Ahmed the Christmas M&M candy which he loved! I also really enjoyed the pictures of Christmas past. My family really likes seeing pictures from the US and even my family here immediately knew who I was in the pictures and said I still look exactly the same, which I do. It was great to talk to everyone.
Have a very Merry Christmas back in the States. I'm off to Dakar for a few days to see my friends, take a little break (to break out of my funk), and eat some delicious food.
PCV Alyssa Titche Corps de la Paix B.P. 957 Thiès, Senegal West Africa
* Make sure it's "Par Avion" by Air and that there's a sticker * Please put insurance on packages and even letters because customs officers will rip open both looking for goods and cash * If you are amazing and sending me a package write "Religious Materials" or "Personal Products" on the outside to further deter customs officials, also it is best to buy a flat rate box to reduce the custom fees I have to pay on my end! * Number your letters so I know if I'm missing one as mail will probably take 2-3 weeks to get from you to me
I also have Skype so make me one of your contacts. My Skype name is: alyssatitche
Cell Phone! Call me on Skype! 221-77-330-48-40
Wish List: Goodies, Treats... and Necessities
100 Calorie Packs
Jiff Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
Mixed CDs (Leigh and Alex sent one and it was AMAZING)