Monday, March 15, 2010

Excel Exists for a Reason

Today started a week full of meetings for me before I take off on my Roman Holiday. This morning I met with Emily and Kether to talk about starting a waste management project in Thies. We definitely weren't as productive as we could have been, but we did realize that we need a lot of help and need to set up some meetings with a couple of NGOs before we can really delve into the idea. I think a waste management project would be incredibly satisfying, not only because Thies is covered in trash and I have to walk through it every time I leave my compound, but also because we would be getting individual quartiers really excited about creating a better living environment for themselves and their families... perhaps it could even spawn some grassroots community activism. One can hope.

After our meeting I went to the post office and got a letter from Shirley! Thank you so much. It was a great letter! I need to step up my letter writing again. I've gotten lazy with IST and everything else that's been going on.

Emily, Kether, and I had a brunch meeting where I devoured an incredible omelet so I was a little disappointed when I came home and Deenba told me we were having omelet, but I will never complain about eggs. I sat with Deenba and Jeenaba in our sauna like kitchen as they created the most amazing lunch I've had in Senegal. Yes, it was better than the chicken amazingness that we had when Katherine was here. In the center of the bowl there was a meat/ onion sauce concoction that looked like it should've been for dinner, around that were the eggs, the outside ring was made up of LETTUCE, and the entire bowl was covered in fries. Sweet. The best part was that I correctly strategized my meal and ate extremely slowly so that everyone else would realize that they hate lettuce. Just as I expected the oil meat, onions, and eggs quickly disappeared and everyone started pushing their lettuce towards me, which I ate with pleasure.

This afternoon even though it was insanely hot I forced myself to leave and do my least favorite activity... go see Diof. Not fun. Ever. I got to the office and the entire crew is in sitting around one guy typing on a newly refurbished computer. I knew that I was in trouble the second I stepped in the door. Everyone was excited to see me so pleasantries were extended for about an hour and then I attempted to make my escape. Two women wanted to go home and pray before making dinner so I tried to go with them. Fail. Then I tried to flee with the English teacher from Keur Yaay. Doesn't it just make sense that he and Diof are friends? Double fail. Then when Diof and another guy said they were going to pray I actually got up to leave when Diof forced me to stay and work on what they had been doing all day. What is this you ask? Well, apparently for the entire day five people watched as one person typed in a Word document. The real kicker?

The best part of this whole situation is that they had copied and pasted an Excel file into Word, but there were some problems. The left most column in Excel which auto-generates a number for each row/ field would not copy into Word so they were hand typing 2500 fields into Word. I wanted to scream. And Diof wanted me to finish for him. I tried to explain that this was ridiculous and they should've kept it in Word to which he retorted he didn't know how to use Excel... they obviously couldn't use Word either. Anyway, they couldn't believe how fast I could type consecutive numbers into a field and tried to get me to stay and finish for them. Luckily, I got an "urgent" phone call and had to go.

This was just so typical. Diof wants me to do menial work for him because he refuses to learn anything. I just wish that Senegalese people believed that they could type just as fast as me or understand Word and Excel just as well as I can and that it's not some mysterious American born gift. It probably isn't as much this as a desire not to do work and to push it off on someone else. Needless to say I was fuming after this Diof encounter and needed to cool off and went to meet Emily at the bar.

The night ended well. I ended up falling asleep watching an animated cartoon about Africa, in French, with Ahmed in Khady's bed until dinner. My life is ridiculous.

1 comment:

  1. Wait a minute Khady has a tv in her bedroom?!!! Ahmed's friends will really freak out when he tells them there was a toubab in his bed! That is the stuff of nightmares!