Thursday, June 17, 2010

Black Eye and Couches

This afternoon as we were just sitting down to a lunch of ceebu jenn, Khady gets a call from my host father instructing her to let the boys know that the delivery is coming. All of the boys immediately jump up from the bowl, obviously I have no idea what this delivery is since I never know anything, and run out of the house. A few minutes later they return carrying new couches to go with our new television set. These are no ordinary couches. They are huge, black, leather couches from the '80s (Matt, insert Ikea here). It now makes sense why all of the furniture from the living room had been haphazardly strewn around the courtyard today.

The couches are quite large and puffy and the boys were having difficult navigating them through the house's narrow doorways. As Ziabata and Petit are trying to get the first couch into the living room, Ziabata accidently runs into the door frame, which runs the wooden foot of the couch directly into Petit's eye, which causes Petit to drop the couch and start crying while my mom screams that the boys are ruining her brand new furniture. I saw the bill and the new furniture cost 1 million CFA! Now I know where all of the money I give my family for rent goes.

The new furniture consists of three couches two of which are supposed to be sectionals featuring a chaise lounge. The best part about the sectional is that no one thought about the room and it's therefore backwards and doesn't work in the room. I suggested moving the television so that the room makes slightly more sense, but this idea was rejected outright as ridiculous since moving the television is far too difficult. Having a chaise jut out into the middle of the living room is obviously much better. After all the furniture is in the living room my host dad calls back and tells the boys that he wants the new furniture upstairs and that furniture brought into the living. This created general mayhem and lots of complaining. I thought it was a done deal since dad had laid down the lay, but my mom called him back to rip him a new one and to explain that she wanted her new furniture on display. Instead of sitting on the new furniture everyone has decided to admire it from a distance and move all of the old furniture into the the hallway where they sit on it to behold the new furniture and watch TV. I'm interested to see how long it will take for people to really use the new furniture.

This afternoon, after the furniture excitement, I headed over to Dioss' to check in. His exposition was the first weekend that I was in Ghana, but I got to see some video that he took and he told me that it went really well. He may have some prospective buyers in Dakar and a television station came to do a little story on him. Dioss was happy with the event. In the ten days that I was gone Dioss has also completely changed his mind about getting married and wants to do it right now, which oddly translates into me getting married right now as well since I'm getting older by the minute... this is coming from a 37 year old Senegalese man who hasn't taken a first wife yet. He did introduce me to his girlfriend who I'd never met before. She's very pretty, well spoken, and tall (much taller than him). She has a marketing degree and works for some type of book publishing company marketing their products. I really like her because she gets angry at Dioss for not being a good business man and is all about us working on accounting. Now that I know where she lives I'm definitely going to use that knowledge to my advantage.

I am feeling pangs of jealousy, not that I'm not the only woman in Dioss' life, but that a French college student is trying to help Dioss and his artists' association. Her name is Pauline, although it's "really mean and ugly French girl" in my head, and I'm supposedly meeting her tomorrow. She's an art student in France and has to do a two month internship during the summer and she somehow found Dioss' group. From what I can tell she's promising the moon, the stars, and a boat load of money. She wants to make a website for him, which is totally fine since I really don't think it's that great of an idea in the first place, but I am against her doing everything for him. She'll make a website, put it on her resume, and then it will fall into disrepair because she's not going to teach Dioss how to manage and keep it up. Dioss obviously likes the idea of her doing the website herself more than the likes the idea of us doing the website together. She also is going to create a paper catalog for the association. I'm interested to see if she really does all of this and where she gets the money.

What else is ridiculous at my house?
1. I just discovered that Deenba put Hannah Montana stickers on her phone while I was gone.
2. Khady's weave is larger than her jayfunday (good work for huge butt).
3. Ahmad was given a pack of ten cookies for dinner and my mom and Khady are now screaming at him for not being able to go to bed.

Shirley - Thank you so much for the card! I have a whole collection from you! It's great.

Debby - Who is a PCV who served from '91-'93 in the Thies region. I can't even imagine what Thies was like 20 years ago and it was great to get your letter. Thank you.

Leigh - Last but not least. Your package was amazing and I've been listening to your CDs all day. You are the best and you and Sarah are prominently displayed in my room! You're the best. Thank you so much.

The pictures from Ghana should be up. I'm having technical difficulties, but if you click on the WAIST to Ghana album and follow it to picas webalbums and scroll to the end you should find the pictures. Let me know if it worked.


  1. Pics are up and working! I cannot believe how much more developed Ghana looks than Senegal. If you and KO ever do go on the Amazing Race you will be able to use your new found airport skills!

  2. Alyssa,

    I love the pictures especially the Clinic for Stroke & Other. Did you not eat at McKeown's? It would be interesting to know the history and time period of growth for Ghana vs Senegal? Is there any hope? Got to love the furniture and planning process. Enjoy being at home after your trip.


  3. Pittsburgh McKeown ClanJune 20, 2010 at 3:21 PM


    The McKeown (sub) Clan had modest options in the 19th century. Many had been "transplanted" by the English from southern scotland to work on english estates in northern ireland. Some hopped ships to the U.S from northern ireland in the 1880's and one should not be surprised that some ended up in Ghana, which was a british colony. I would hope that barbeque of all sorts would be on their menu, but a little hard to tell from the signage. There is a neat McKeown's Pub in Manhattan that serves McEwans Ale. Hospitality, barbeque, and beer are highly valued across the universe.