Thursday, January 14, 2010

Word in French

I was convinced that I was going to have at least one package from my incredible friends and family back home when I went to the Post Office this morning. No such luck. Disappointed and with time to spare because I didn't have to pick up said packages I went to visit my supervisor Diof. This takes all of my resolve because I really don't like him or going to see him, but since I have to fill out a bunch of forms before my next round of training in February it was a necessity.

Luckily, I had my typing class looming in the near future so I told him I only had twenty minutes. While I don't really like Diof on a personal level he does know everyone and everything in and about Thies. He set me up with a contact at the mayor's office and is looking for his NGO list for me... and I was out of there in twenty minutes flat - including 5 minutes of greetings. Excellent.

We hit a momentous and terrifying place in my typing class with Mme. Cissa & Co. They finished the typing game. Unfortunately, I didn't know that this would happen today and I didn't really plan ahead. On the fly I was able to come up with the activity of them typing a newspaper article into Word so we could practice all of Word's functions. This was a disaster. Their typing skills still aren't all that good and their mouse skills may be worse so Word was rather difficult. It actually became quite hilarious when Mme. Cissa started calling herself a villager because she was so bad at attempting to highlight text so she could make it bold. I think you have to live in Senegal and speak Wolof to understand how funny a villager comment is when living in the Big City (aka Thies), but we were all laughing. Word is going to take a while to master; especially since it is incredibly hard for me to explain in French. I'm really going to practice and learn all the relevant words this weekend because I felt really stupid today in class.

Fortunately, I couldn't dwell on my ineptitude for too long because I had to meet some other volunteers for lunch which was very fun and a good break from the bad string of lunches my family's been having. After lunch it was too soon for Emily and I to go back to our families (we didn't want to be forced to eat a second lunch) so I forced her to go to the bank with me and then she forced me to go to the Post Office with her. The second time is apparently my charm because I had packages! Yay! And much to Emily's unhappiness because she didn't. Needless to say she left me there and I don't blame her.

Shout Outs!
Thanks mom and dad for the early birthday package and another package just because. The men at the Post Office feel as though they know my mom intimately and now enjoy guessing what she sends in her packages since she's got it down to a science and sends only my favorite things!

And to Mr. and Mrs. McKeown! A plethora of new New Yorkers will replenish my stash (which was zero) and make volunteers throughout the Thies region very happy. The cookies are beyond delicious. I honestly don't know if there are better cookies in the world. They made it mostly in one piece and are amazing. I had to forcibly stop myself from eating the entire container in one sitting and I will be hoarding them all for myself. They are just too good to share.

Now for a story about my packages. I was able to sneak my mom's packages inside my room before anyone saw, but as I was doing that Ahmed had heard me return and rushed to my room in time to see the McKeown's package and ask if it contained a present for him. Ahmed now thinks that anytime I get something it's actually for him and he's entitled to pretty much anything that is mine anytime that he wants it. Yes, he is undoubtedly spoiled and yes, I participate in that process. I tell him that he has to wait outside while I look through the boxes because I don't know if there are presents for him. He waits for approximately two seconds after I close the door before barging into my room and demanding presents.

You may think I would find this incredibly annoying, but somehow it's rather endearing and I just can't get angry at the little kid. He also catches me with a yet to be assembled Balsa wood airplane in my hand. He quickly grabs it from me, runs outside, and triumphantly shows it to the rest of the family bragging that he just received a present from the US and they didn't. Then I am forced to assembly the plane. It only takes me two tries (I unsuccessfully assemble it upside the first time! oops!)! I then spend the rest of the afternoon standing on our second story balcony launching the plane to an impatiently waiting 4 year old below who then runs it up the stairs so we can do it all over again.

He absolutely loves the plane and I will love it even more when I show him that he too can throw it off the balcony and play with it himself! Thank you so much for the toys. Ahmed really does enjoy playing with them and I have to admit that I enjoy spoiling him just as much.

Exhausted from running up and down the stairs a million times with his toy airplane, Ahmed then throws a tantrum during dinner because he can't have chocolate for dinner and then passes out under my chair. How else could the night end?


  1. Alyssa,

    Mom and CJ are on there way to Colorado and so far are having an easy drive. Hopefully it stays that way. That being the case I will probably have my millett meal tonight, honey nut cheerios cereal. Regarding the air plane at least he likes chasing, it could of been you chasing down the plan so that he could throw it.


  2. We should all be Ahmed!

    - Uncle Rich