Yup, I'm actually doing it. I'm taking the plunge. Starting August 12th I will be in Senegal working as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Pojangos are a delicious drink that we invented while visiting the lovely city of Pout earlier this week. What is a Pojango you ask? Good question. The first ingredient is being in Pout, the second is Jackie, the third is Jackie's blender, the fourth is mangoes, and the fifth is vodka that costs less than the mango juice we bought to supplement the fresh mangoes. Why did we subject ourselves to vodka that is cheaper than fresh fruit? Another good question. Because this vodka has a label featuring a Russian skyline, writing in French, and is bottled in Thies. This is not a joke and I'm slightly embarrassed that I just discovered this fact. Needless to say that I will be drinking only Le Vieux (Old Man in French) vodka for the rest of my service. The spiked mango smoothies we created were absolutely delicious and will be common occurrences for the rest of mango season.
Friday morning we woke up and made our way to Mboro, which is a beach town north of Thies and directly west of Tivuauone. My mission was to ask Talla to help me at my Junior Achievement formation tomorrow (which he is! Yay!), but the real purpose was to watch Talla give a formation. I really enjoy watching Talla because he's very engaging and this formation was especially interesting because he had everyone play a banking game and they got really into it.
After Talla left, we started all the shopping for Oliver's birthday party. Getting enough food and drinks (including water) for 15 people is a lot of work! The best/ most ridiculous part of getting all the supplies was purchasing the ice. Tamar and Jackie actually located the ice while Katherine and I were on the all important "where can we buy a chicken sandwich for lunch run," but Katherine, Tamar, and I went to pick up the ice. The first ridiculous thing that happened was that the ice woman and Katherine had the exact same Senegalese name, which Senegalese people love, and the ice woman went crazy and we had to talk about names. The second ridiculous thing was that this woman thought that I spoke good Wolof and thought that if I speak Wolof that I should be able to carry 30 pounds of ice on my head. Before I could protest too much she was already helping me lift a huge bucket of ice on my head. After participating in the ensuing the toubab has a bucket on her head photo shoot, I stumbled the several blocks back to the house where we were staying without passing out. I have to admit I was quite proud of myself.
The most interesting part of this weekend was that a group of our friends including the birthday boy were walking from a PCV site 30k away to the beach where the rest of us were. The plan was that me and my girlfriends would have the house and the food up and running when the ridiculous walkers arrived. This sort of happened. Although we were ready with all of the supplies there was some miscommunication about the house and it took us a little while to get set up. After figuring everything out everyone had a really good time and we made really good taco salad/ Mexican smörgåsbord. Success. There are a few pictures up from the trip.
I'm now back at home completely exhausted and about to make dinner. I'm glad to be back and my family is in fine form today, which makes everything even that much better.
PCV Alyssa Titche Corps de la Paix B.P. 957 Thiès, Senegal West Africa
* Make sure it's "Par Avion" by Air and that there's a sticker * Please put insurance on packages and even letters because customs officers will rip open both looking for goods and cash * If you are amazing and sending me a package write "Religious Materials" or "Personal Products" on the outside to further deter customs officials, also it is best to buy a flat rate box to reduce the custom fees I have to pay on my end! * Number your letters so I know if I'm missing one as mail will probably take 2-3 weeks to get from you to me
I also have Skype so make me one of your contacts. My Skype name is: alyssatitche
Cell Phone! Call me on Skype! 221-77-330-48-40
Wish List: Goodies, Treats... and Necessities
100 Calorie Packs
Jiff Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
Mixed CDs (Leigh and Alex sent one and it was AMAZING)