Sunday, April 25, 2010

Here and There

After dinner last night everyone scattered and I found myself the only person on the main floor of the big house. With the mosque having a hopping party next door and no one to distract me, I went to bed at approximately 9:30. Because of this I woke up early this morning to complete quiet. No loud music, no screaming babies in the compound next door, and absolutely no one awake at my house. It was amazing. I reveled in the early morning calm and actually left my house to meet Jackie before I saw anyone come out of the big house. I left at 9am.

Jackie and I had agreed to help Emily and another volunteer create an Earth day mural at a middle school per the request of an English teacher from the high school. Yes, the convoluted nature of the project should have clued us in to potential problems. Jackie and I also made the mistake of arriving on time. We were the first people there and almost an hour later there were only a few Senegalese students around so we left. I felt a moment of guilt for leaving, but we didn't have any materials and the teacher in charge was an hour late and no where in sight.

We ran errands instead and my mom is going to be very proud of me. The door to my room has metal slats that open and close to either let air in or, infrequently, lock shut in order to keep dirt and sand out while I'm away. When it's open as it is most of the time it lets a ton of mosquitoes in. mosquitoes are back in town and last night I got devoured, Tamar style. I say this because Tamar gets 40 bites for every 1 that person who is not Tamar gets. Months ago my mom sent me Velcro so I could create a pouch around the window with some netting. Well, I just go the netting today and set everything up and it's pretty great. My family thought I was crazy attaching Velcro to my door, but I let Ahmed cut the excess netting off and it totally made his day. It also took him 45 minutes and he cut it at a diagonal so the extra netting is now useless, but he was ever so proud of his net cutting skills.

Before I came home, Jackie and I met up with Katherine for lunch and I went to see Talla, the Peace Corps trainer at his house. After reading the Junior Achievement literature this weekend, I had a slight panic attack and called Talla today for guidance. Tall is probably my favorite person in this country and one of my favorite people ever. He has so much energy, is so interested in my projects, patient with my language, and always ready to help. So, I barged in on his Sunday afternoon with his family to talk Junior Achievement and he helped me create some semblance of a plan for my meeting tomorrow with teachers at the technical high school where I'm going to implement the program. Now I just have to pray they are as motivated, understanding, and helpful as Talla.


  1. Alyssa,

    You could also turn your mosquito netting door stopper into a small air conditioner by putting weeds or grasses in the opening and wetting the grass. When the wind blows through it will provide a cooling effect in your room. The weekend Bar Mitvah festivities are over and it was a very nice weekend. You were missed but everyone was thinking of you.


  2. Great job on the netting! It looks nice nd neat!
    Good luck at the meeting tomorrow. I know you will blow everybody away!