Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Strike It Out

At home around the holidays everything goes into hyper mode. There's a flurry of activity: shopping, cooking, coming home from school, seeing friends, seeing family... shopping. Here, everything just stops. It is relaxing, but it's also a little boring. What is not boring are Senegalese high schoolers. In the US teachers may strike because the union hasn't reached a contract agreement or they aren't getting paid enough. Valid. Here, students strike because they want vacation to start earlier and last longer.

This is not a joke. Last week the students from multiple high schools decided they wanted winter vacation to start a week early so they all stopped going to school and walked down the main street of Thies. I have to admit that although ridiculous it's also pretty bad ass. In high school I know that my fellow classmates and I endured endless days where the entire state of Michigan had a snow day, but we didn't and we never came up with the idea to just not come to school. I have to admit that no matter how awesome striking for vacation may seem I probably could have never done it. I have a problem with going against authority and I always hated missing school.

Not only are students not going to school, but no one is really going to work either so I don't have much to do. Today I turned in the report that Diof forced me to write him. Although I had to wait for him to show up at the office he did force me out after ten minutes because he had another meeting. It was therefore a perfect interaction with him... very minimal.

I spent most of the day reading, lounging, and playing with Ahmed. Playing with Ahmed and reading took up most of the day since we didn't have power most of the afternoon. I have convinced him that when I'm "writing," anything that involves a book, he also needs to write so I gave him some highlighters and he entertained himself drawing for about 45 minutes. We also went through the rest of the bubbles, played with his white board and magnetic letters, and I had him fill my bucket for my bath. Yeah, pretty exciting day.

That's it from Senegal. When you're worrying about putting on the holiday weight at home just pack in a couple more brownies, handfuls of chex mix (I'm missing my aunt's card core right now), spoonfuls of macaroni and cheese, and swigs of good booze in my honor.


  1. Alyssa,

    I think you have hit on one of the reasons to have children, however it does not happen often or for long enough, slave labor. Very nice making a three year old bring water for your bathing needs. Have a happy African - Muslim - Xmas.


  2. Hope you can create some facsimile of Mexican dip for your fellow PCV's!!!!!!

  3. Good luck with that Mexican dip thing - my guess is that Velveeta is hard to come by (unless that was in the package that you just got from your mom).

    We received your note just prior to taking off for Denver. Your holiday/new year wishes arrived in time and are most appreciated. After a white-knuckle drive through freezing rain, slush and snow we arrived in Denver safely and hope to have a wonderful "festival of mass consumption" with Ann and her family and Claire and her boyfriend, Pier.

    Have a fun weekend and a very happy and healthy New Year. And most of all, Stay Sassy!