Thursday, March 11, 2010

The New Stage

The new Health/ Environmental Education volunteers arrived in Senegal yesterday and I went over to the center today to meet everyone and help teach a session on Islam. Everyone seems to be holding it together really well. I feel like I wore my utter terror and desire to go home on my incredibly sweaty face so everyone looked really good to me today. And everyone seems really cool which is great even though I'm sad that the Dakar region only gets two new volunteers and they'll be pretty far away from me. It was also really fun to see all the volunteers who came in to help with the sessions. We had fun matching people in this new stage to people from our stages.

Going to PST today was another great reminder of how far I've come. It is fairly amazing that I'm still here and even more incredible that I really like being here (most of the time). Tomorrow will be even better because we are taking the new stagaires on their first walk around Thies. I can still remember how terrifying it was the first time and then how many times I got lost in Thies during my first couple of weeks (and last Saturday). Now, I'm the one who pretty much knows their way around the city.

Interesting anecdote of the day:
Almost every time I leave my house, except when I'm going to Dioss' I pass by this really nice family's house. Most of the time the mom is sitting outside making fattaya, which are fried dumplings filled with fish, as a band of toddlers plays beside her. I always say hi to them and sometimes I get a little treat from the woman and it's been just recently that the kids have actually started to greet me. I mean, I am an incredibly scary toubab. Today they were over joyed to see me and were screaming toubab, TOUBAB, toubab at me, in a very cute way, and I screamed children, children, children back at them. Well, they had no idea how to react to this so they stared at me, looked at their mom, and then several of them burst into tears which made their mom burst into laughter. I haven't made a little kid cry in a long time and especially in Thies... so I must have been looking pretty fierce today!


  1. Alyssa,

    I have always found you scary and very intimidating. At least the mom saw the humor in the situation.


  2. I think you should take the entire new stage by this family's house tomorrow and desensitize these kids to toubabs! What would the reaction be to a huge group of toubabs?