February 18, 2010
Day 2 of training was actually pretty interesting. We had several presentations by volunteers, which are definitely the most interesting sessions. The first presentation was on a summer camp some volunteers in Kadegou ran. It was really impressive. The camp focuses on team building and they do a lot of games familiar to Americans who have attended summer camps as well as focusing on creating peppeniers, making neem lotion (organic lotion which combats mosquitoes), and then marketing that lotion at the local market. The pictures and videos from the week long, over-night camp looked really fun. The second presentation was about micro-finance and setting up a village bank. It was really interesting as well, but there are a million micro-finance institutions in Thies and getting the money isn’t usually the problem here. It’s usually organization.
For lunch we had chicken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
During our afternoon session we heard more about the various micro-financing options available for projects and the head of the Agriculture program gave a presentation on food security and the business volunteers’ role in the PC food security initiatives. I’m not going to start growing a garden anytime soon since I have absolutely no skills in that area, unless they teach me how to grow herbs and tomatoes in hanging rice sacks at my house, but Emily and I did discover the organic market here in Thies. We just need to figure out how to make it work. Their previous attempts at marketing have failed and currently the market is pretty pathetic. Hopefully during training I’ll be able to brainstorm some ways to help them out.
After training I came home to hang out with the fam, but no one was around so I had some alone time until Ahmed barged into my room in long pants and a winter coat. It’s at cool 79 degrees right now. I needed to get some reading done since I have homework during training so we sat at the kitchen table together and I helped him color. I recently received some Crayons in a package and they’ve been a huge hit… with my entire family! Even the adults love coloring. I can tell since the Thomas the Tank Engine coloring book has some perfectly colored in pages. Ahmed pulled out a silver crayon which he called white and became irate when it “didn’t work.” He kept trying to draw on the paper but the crayon was practically the same color as the paper so it didn’t show up. I got a piece of colored paper to show him it did work, but not on white paper this really only infuriated him more because he couldn’t understand why it worked on some paper but not another. How did I resolve this discrepancy? I stole the silver crayon and put it in my room. It was the best I could do while coloring by candle light since the big city never seems to have power at night.
I’m hoping to get into bed early tonight because the last couple of nights have been rough. Two nights ago the mosque decided to go head to head with my family’s suicidal sheep about who could be louder (the sheep likes to bang it’s head into the metal door of the pen) and last night I firmly believe someone was torturing about twenty cats right outside my door. I don’t know why, but Senegal has been especially loud the last few weeks and even an iPod or ear plugs can’t combat the night’s constant assault on my ears.
Messy, but Warm
10 months ago