Monday, January 18, 2010

Bust and Boom

Yesterday, I woke up with a terrible head cold. Every person has been sick at some point in the past week and since we all eat out of one bowl it was fairly inevitable that I too would fall prey to a cold in the desert. Sore throat, congested nose, and general grumpiness were all symptoms that led me to hide in my room all day and be anti-social in an attempt to make a 24 hour recovery. No suck luck, but I did trudge through an amazing amount of PC paper work I have to finish before IST so I still felt productive.

Unfortunately, today I woke up and still felt like crap, but I forced myself out of bed and walked all the way to Dioss' gallery to learn that he totally forgot about our already rescheduled start to accounting fun! Do you think he's avoiding accounting? I really can't blame him, but I was still annoyed because his gallery is all the way across town next to nothing. Keur Yaay, my typing ladies, my tutor, and Diof's office are all in two adjacent quartiers so when someone stands me up I can usually find something else productive to do, but no so for Dioss' atelier so I came back to my house and felt miserable until Ahmed forced me to draw with him for 2 hours until two of his little friends came over.

It is interesting to interact with other young children because they are terrified of me. Ahmed now takes the liberty to barge into my room, snatch a book out of my hand, and demand that I play with him. His friends look at with wide eyes like I'm some sort of alien. The three little boys came into my room, Ahmed in the lead with the other two trying to hide behind him, to ask to play with the prokadima set. Ahmed obviously thinks he's super cool since he besties with the toubab and it was a funny little episode.

The morning was not only a bust with Dioss, but I learned I couldn't meet with the Mayor either. Long story...

All I wanted to do during the afternoon was lay on the couch and watch Marina (Brazilian soap opera)with my mom and sister, but Emily said she would go to Jumba's, our tutor, with me if we met at the gate. We met at the gate, looked at each other, and quickly ran away before he could see us. Once there, neither of us could handle a Wolof session. Instead we went to her office, which was inexplicitly closed during office hours. In an attempt not to feel like dead beats we went over to the organic market's office.

Emily really wants to work with them on the gardening and I would love to work on the business side. I was shocked by the office and how together it was. I glanced over some financial statements on the desk and they looked great. They really have it together. The problem on the business side is obviously exposure and marketing. They've already tried a radio commercial and having music at the market to little success. I'm going to have to come up with something very effective yet cheap and easy if I want to make a difference over there.

At this point my throat is killing me so we went into town and I paid an exorbitant amount for a milk shake. It was amazing, worth every single penny, and it really soothed my throat. Plus Emily is absolutely hilarious and it's always fun to hang out with her. We may have also made AMAZING birthday plans, but you will have to wait for all the details!

And I just ate dinner while burnt weave smell hung in the air. Mami has apparently turned our house into a salon...


  1. How big is the market for vegetables? It seems that it is a small part of the typical Senegalese diet. Should the marketing emphsize health benefits? sex appeal? brainier children? What would be the most important to the average person?
    Please rest and drink fluids we don't want you sick on your bday

    I am singing the best I can for your birthday..(thought you would like the caps lock version of the song..:)
    HOpe your feeling better my dear. It was so nice to chat some over the weekend!!! Love you!

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALYSSA!!!!!!! My old roommate, Meera, is starting in Senegal in February. Hope you guys can meet up! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALYSSA!!!!!!

  4. Ditto Aunt Lu!!

    I have pretty sweet plans for our birthday also. They include breakfast with your mom, a manicure, a movie, and dinner out.

    Are your plans like mine? I can't wait to see what you have planned. I hope having a cold doesn't mess them up too much.

  5. Happy Bday Alyssa! Although I miss colliders, a milkshake sounds superb too - make sure to get another on your bday. and try to find the ingredients for mojitos while you're at it.

    miss you - happy bday!


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  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUNNY RABBIT! Be sure to take a picture at 11:42! Enjoy chicken dibi and hopefully a small cocktail.
    I am with you all day long!
    All my love

  8. Happy Birthday! I would do something witty so this doesn't start looking like a facebook birthday post page but my mom already took the best joke that doesn't involve something vulgar about age. So happy birthday lyssa.

  9. I hope you’re feeling better this upcoming morning so that you can enjoy a very Happy Birthday!
    I met with your mom here in Colorado last Sunday and we talked for hours! I feel like we’ve known each for years. We’re both very happy that you and Tamar found one another over there.
    It seems you’re very busy, getting a lot done, and making a difference. We’re very proud of you! And keep up the beautiful picture-taking.
    Happy Birthday!!

  10. Alyssa Happy Birthday! I know it must not feel like your birthday today since it is probably 90 degrees, but we are all thinking about you back home. I hope Chicken Dibi is amazing and that Ahmed doesn't try to steal any presents! Happy Birthday! I love you.

  11. alyssa,

    happy birthday buddy! :)

    your birthdays are always memorable... the year the boots wouldn't come off, the year of the skeeps denial, last year realizing it's a bad idea to go to hot yoga before going out. i hope this year brings lots of fun new stories! miss you!!!


  12. Hello! I read your blog religiously thanks to your cohorts Kristen and Leigh, so I wanted to wish you a happy birthday, also!! Your stories are great and I'm absorbed in the tale... I even read the funny bits to my mother! So I hope you have a good one and congrats on being successful so far in Senegal!

  13. Have a wonderful and special birthday, Alyssa!

    We (Thor and I) are enjoying all your posts and can't wait to hear more. Put on your best outfit and go out and make some memories!! You only live your life once. Someday you will look back at this birthday with great fondness. What a time you've had! Take care,
    - Katie Sorensen

  14. hey lis! happy birthday! hope it's not too hot! love you.


  15. Hi Alyssa!!

    Happy Birthday!!! Wish we could all be together to celebrate 711 style. I hope you had the chance to shotgun at midnight with your new friends over there. Sounds like you are being a super trooper when is comes to life across the atlantic! Hopefully 23 will grant you a stronger stomach! I am so lucky to have your blog to read at work and can't wait to plan a trip to see you sometime soon. Miss you :-)


  16. Happy Birthday, Alyssa!

    Too bad you're not in the States - I would be sure to buy you the cheapest, grossest tequila I could get my hands on. The least I could do for the person who taught me how to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Hope all is well!



    Hope you have a fantastic day -- I agree with jackie, hope you can find some peps to shotgun with. MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY. Miss you. Keep up the good blogging & photos. XO.

    - Deegs

  18. Happy Birthday Alyssa!

    Have an amazing day/week/month/2-year-peace-corps adventure. Here's to 20 more just as good as the past 20.

  19. Happy Birthday! I hope this year's events are filled with debauchery Africa style. I came up with a list of African substitutes for how to celebrate:

    drinking too much tequila and hanging out with the sink = gorge yourself on chicken dibi or maybe have a gazelle or two

    getting denied from skeeps = there really is no substitute for this

    taking shots with sharyl = convince your pc mom that it's an american tradition to take shots with your mom on your bday

    However you celebrate, I hope it's great. We're all thinking about you back home! Miss you!!

  20. ALYSSA!! Happy Birthday "Best Friend"! Haha hope all is well all the way in Senegal! We all miss you very much here in the western hemisphere and hope you are having a wonderful birthday. I am in my second semester of law school and life is stressful (as you can imagine) but i'm doing well and looking forward to the summer. I was thinking of you the other day when I saw a commercial for the world cup and remembered that my "best friend" is currently in Africa (not too close to S. Africa, but closer than me haha). Hope all is well, hope you have time to play tennis, and keep us posted on your birthday celebration! (one more time) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  21. Alyssa, Happy Happy 23rd birthday! Here you are of drinking age and you are to far away for us to have a drink together. I am geting my Boones Farm out today about 6,so maybe we can coordinate our drinks. Have a great birthday, and let us know all about it! Love Ma

  22. Happy 23rd Alyssa!! The entire Meattrain is thinking about you today. I'm sure you're finding some cool way to celebrate in style (ala dancing on bar tops in the middle of a Coco Bongo).

    Once you're done helping Senegal, come back to Ann Arbor! I'm still here working in marketing for a web design company by Briarwood...super eerie at times without all of you around, but I can visit the NEW version of Red Hot Lovers anytime I want. You should definitely come visit when you're back stateside.


  23. Alyssa,

    HAPPY 23RD BIRTHDAY!!! I'm so bummed I can't be there to celebrate with you - we'll have to crack open a bottle of Don Simon when we reunite in order to correctly celebrate.

    I miss you and love you and wish you the best on your first birthday in Senegal!


  24. Alyssa,

    Happy Birthday! I hope you are peacing up the corps and having an amazing time! McClure told me he was planning to send you a personalized birthday card so you should probably start getting excited about that.


  25. Ah! Alyssa! you are getting so old! Happy happy happy birthday! good luck celebrating in the right fashion in Senegal. I know you will be able to live it up properly as you always have been able to find a way to do! love you and good luck... stay healthy and miss you much!

    -Jennie Bander

  26. Happy Birthday! I'll be appropriate on her, but check your email for a better birthday email.

    Have a great day and hope you are not sick anymore.


  27. Happy Birthday Alyssa! Hope you are having a super fantastic birthday. I think that you should wear one of your Sengalese outfits for your birthday. You would be smokin' hot and ready to celebrate. Hope you have fun with your Sengalese family. We miss you and will sing a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday in honor of you tonight. Maybe we will audio tape it and you can remember how lovely we sound.

    Love, Aunt Cindy

  28. Happy Birthday Alyssa! Hope you are having a great day and feeling better. We all think of you everyday and I had a blast talking with your Mom and Grandma the other night. Birthday Greetings from Aunt Alice too she does not have internet.Love, Traci and fam

  29. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! hope you feel better soon.


  30. Happy birthday Alyssa!!!
    Love, Adam Thomas Kogelschatz

  31. Alyssa!

    Happy, Happy Birthday! Hope you are enjoying it in Africa! I hope you were able to have cake or ice cream or something delightful. I bet they don't have creme brulee :( We will have to have some upon your return!

    Please check your mail soon :)


  32. Hey Alyssa, it's Kristen's Jeff. Happy birthday, hope everything is going well in the foreign land. Stay safe and hopefully we will get to see you the next time you are home.

  33. Alyssa! Happy birthday my friend! I miss you and hope all is well in Senegal! Your blog is definitely in my top 3, falling in line right behind Perez (obvi) and Cake Wrecks, a blog about professional cakes done horribly wrong. Anyway, you are not missing much here...I mean we don't even have Marina on TV. American Idol is on, and it is better than ever - I cried two and a half during the audition last night (something is wrong w/ me). I will keep you posted as long as you let me know who Marina ends up w/...Ricardo, Eduardo, or Pablo?!