Recently I feel like I haven't really been taking chances or putting myself our there enough. I've been going to see Dioss and Keur Yaay and avoiding anything that could be incredibly obnoxious or unbelievably tedious since my rough week a while back. That all changed when I met the English teacher at Peace Corps last week and learned about the Arabic club at the big high school in Thies. Today was the first opportunity I had to attend a meeting. I can't describe how intimidating it was to walk into this vast high school populated by perfectly coiffed, stick thin, beautiful Senegalese girls and gawking, annoying, stupid boys. I could feel everyone's eyes on me as I walked through the gates as the only sweaty, confused looking toubab around. I called my contact with the Arabic club and told him I had arrived. Conversation as follows:
Me: Hello I'm at the high school standing next to the giant Baobab tree.
Malik: What color shirt are you wearing I'll come look for you.
Me: I'm the only white person here and I'm near the giant Baobab tree (sigh).
Anyway, Malik is a nice guy as is the teacher leader and my Arabic is beyond rusty it was actually a little embarrassing. All the students are really good and I was struggling. It definitely didn't help that people were going from French, to Wolof, to Arabic and back again. I was also really nervous and the classroom was really loud which made it even harder for me to make out words and understand. But, enough with excuses. I'm going to start studying so I don't look like a total fool again when the club meets on Wednesday.
Another cool thing about the club is that is mostly girls. Granted the executive board is composed of the 4 boys in the club, but all the other members, about 15, are girls. They sing a few songs at the beginning of class and then did a little repetition. I hope everything will come back quickly because they put me on the spot even though I said I just wanted to observe today. Oh well. I definitely want to continue going because I didn't go through four years of hell in college to come out with an Arabic degree only to forget everything, plus it always impresses people here and shows them I'm really not as clueless and useless as they think I am.
I came home to a lunch of hardboiled eggs and salad. Without a doubt the most healthful meal I've had, at home, in months. It was delicious. I also drew trees with Ahmed all afternoon before stumbling upon a brilliant idea if I may say so myself. He had a piece of rope and was playing with it so I showed him how to jump rope. He now loves jumping rope, but jumping rope is very tiring so after an hour of jumping rope I found him passed out in a corner of the kitchen. Excellent, peace and quite. I love rope.
And in a totally unrelated note...
HUGE shout out to my cousin Sarah today for becoming a Bat Mitzvah. I'm sure she did a great job and I was definitely there in spirit and I've definitely been fantasizing about the food pretty much all day long. While Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years hit a lot of my friends pretty hard, I was able to keep the homesickness at bay because it was just another event. Unfortunately, a Bat Mitzvah isn't just another event, it's once in a lifetime and that's when it sucks when I have two massive mosquito bites (one on each butt cheek if you must know) sitting in my bungalow in Africa. So shout out to Sarah again for her accomplishment, congratulations, and I would give the gift of raiding my closet back at home except for the fact that I'm pretty sure she's taller than me now!
And in order not to end this post of a sad note... in the daily what do Khady's eye lashes look like... she has now replaced the falsies that fell off so she is currently sporting two pairs of fake lashes embellished with crystals.
Messy, but Warm
10 months ago