Monday, May 3, 2010

Not So Happy Students

Crazy, crazy, crazy day.

The Junior Achievement meeting went pretty well today. I am so so so happy that Talla came with me because otherwise it probably would have been a disaster. The meeting started out about 45 minutes late and I felt really bad because Talla was starting a tournee today and started it late to help me at my meeting. After the two professors that are helping me and the Dean of Academics waxed on about the Lycee Technique, Junior Achievement, and how all of the people at this meeting (recent grads) will hopefully soon find jobs. While Talla did an excellent job explaining the Junior Achievement program, one of the professors segued into talking about different grant opportunities which had the effect of making all the students extremely angry about how this money isn't easily accessible and how they didn't want to do Junior Achievement if they couldn't put it on their resumes and if they wouldn't immediately get a job directly after finishing the program taught by a toubab who doesn't really speak French or Wolof.

The professors told me at our meeting last week that they were going to invite 50 people, which terrified me, and since then I've been hoping that half would show up and then only half would actually participate in the program so I would wind up with about 15-20 students. Well, 47 showed up today. 47 recent grads who are severely displeased with their current job placement, or lack there of. Talla had the meeting and hopefully the student's expectations of Junior Achievement under control by the end of the meeting, but I'm definitely nervous about next week. The plan is to prepare a second by second lesson plan and then assume that nothing will go as planned, but know that I at least tried. We'll see how it goes.

While I was in my Junior Achievement, I got a bunch of texts from Chris, the volunteer who lived in Thies with my family before me. He's going back to the States soon and wanted to say goodbye to the family. After stopping at the post office where I got a letter from Shirley (thanks!), I went home to meet Chris and see him interact with our family. Everyone was very excited to see him and it was fun to have another toubab around to comment about the personalities in the family and to see if we had the same thoughts and opinions on things. Since I told my family he was coming yesterday, Khady made her delicious homosexual rice so it was a pretty good afternoon.

After lunch I ran to Dioss' to give him all of the pictures I've edited for the website, pick up some of his cards to sell at an exposition in Dakar, and talk about the art seminars we are going to put on for two schools in Thies with the supplies being sent by my Aunt's class. It was a highly productive meeting, which was good. We need to get back on the accounting track, but we both have a lot going on and he has a huge exposition in Thies on the 15th so it will have to wait.

This afternoon as Chris wanted to go see a boutique owner who he spent a lot of time with and have a quick beer before we went to chicken dibi for dinner. Obviously we went to a Catholic boutique and sat in the back having a beer with the owner and talking. All of a sudden we hear someone calling Chris and myself... it's Khady. My family NEVER uses this boutique because Catholics own it and there's a closer one to my house, but Khady, being as refined and amazing as she is, wanted a 10 liter bottle of water which you can't buy at the boutique near my house. It was awkward because my family has never seen me drink, but it was OK and I blamed everything on Chris, which my family loved. Ending the night with chicken dibi and drinks with Emily was a great finish to the day.

1 comment:

  1. Have you noticed how full and diverse your days are becoming? What a community of friends and colleagues you have built Alyssa. Dad and I have only wanted you and CJ to lead interesting lives......yours is fascinating Bun!