Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's A Small World After All

Dioss has started calling me at a moment's notice to ask me to do something with him or help him out in one way or another. Unfortunately, I think he does this now because he knows I'm usually free. Today was no different. I was sitting on the floor in our family praying the mass of rice in my stomach would digest and or miraculously evaporate through my buckets of sweat when I got a text message from Dioss. All it said was please be at my house by 3:30pm. We were supposed to meet this morning, but he postponed it until the afternoon. I received the text at 3:15. I reinforced the behavior of calling me at the last second my hoping in a cab, because that's the only way I could make it on time, and heading off to his house.

Just as I arrived a white SUV pulled up and I saw diplomatic plates. Two women from the American Embassy popped out and introduced themselves and then another woman got out of the car and as one of the women from the Embassy turned me around to introduce us I was thunderstruck. The woman getting out of the SUV was grew up in my hometown and we went to the same high school where we took French classes together and her younger sister and I were in the same grade. I absolutely could not believe it. It's amazing to think that Dioss called me to meet some random Americans and that I actually knew one of them. And that all of this happened in Thies, Senegal! The girl who went to my high school doesn't work for the Embassy, but the Department of Defense and was taking a tour of parts of Senegal with some Embassy staff.

Aubrey and I were able to catch up a little bit and she and other two women bought a lot of Dioss' art which was great. Seeing someone, randomly, from home was so weird. She was so clean and shiny and had such pretty clothes it made me homesick, but at the same time it was just so cool. My only regret is that I rushed out of my house in the clothes I had been sweating in all morning and didn't brush my hair back out after it had been caked with dirt and sweat while I was out and about this morning. The picture on the post is of me and Aubrey. In case you're in doubt, she's the one in the nice clothes and I'm the sweaty dirty person.

Instead of working on accounting after the women left, Dioss dragged me to a children's talent show to see the props he had made for the festivities. If anyone ever needs a cardboard, painted children's boat call me. After the riveting talent show we went over to Pauline's office to check up on her. It seems as though she's making progress with the catalog, but coming up some administrative problems. Shocking. If she finishes the catalog and has time left over in her internship we're going to work on the website together. Finally, we went back to Dioss' to talk about prices for the cards that might be exported. Several years ago Dioss exported some cards through another PCV and now he has that price stuck in his head and feels a moral obligation to stick with that price. He's obviously an artist and not a businessman, but I'm trying to help him out.

This morning I went to the Post Office where there is a new and very mean (read: actually does his job) customs official. He wasn't there when I arrived and I ended up waiting almost an hour for him to return to his job. In the meantime I had already distributed gummy worms to all my friends and we were having a grand old time. When the customs guy wanted to charge me all of my friends were shocked and told him he was dealing with Jeenaba, our friend, she doesn't pay! They were horrified which was funny. This man refused not to do his job though and I ended up having to pay which wasn't fun, but I got some great packages!

Shout Outs!!!

Thanks mom and dad! Everything you sent is great!

Debbie - Thank you so much for your package it was so nice and everything it was great. I'm going to save all of the Blow Pops for the USA v. Ghana soccer game in an attempt to bribe people to cheer for the US and to appease them after we beat Ghana!

A huge shout out goes out to Katherine for sending a letter, or more specifically a picture she drew of a hover craft, all the way from Bombay, Senegal! It's hanging in my room in a place of honor.

Last, but definitely not least. I've talked about a girls' camp that the PCVs from my region are putting on this fall. Well, we finally got approved and are starting our fundraising process. We are using a Peace Corps Partnership to raise the funds which means that we are asking you (our friends and family) to donate whatever you can, while Peace Corps, and the community itself also contribute to make this camp happen for the girls of the Thies region! If you are willing to donate or if you are just interested in learning more about the project please visit this link:

Thanks for your support!


  1. WOW! I am thundrstruck! I can't wait to talk to Aubrey's parents. What an amazing coincidence...2 girls from a small town in Michigan randomly meet in a small town in Africa! Just proves you should never leave the house without nice underwear and a clean blouse! BTW the link for the girls camp did not appear.

  2. Alyssa,

    Simply amazing. You better get Dioss busy, it looks like he may be selling a bunch. Thanks for the shout out, we are getting the next package ready for you.


  3. Hey Alyssa,
    I've been following your blog and posted a couple of comments along the way as we waited for my daughter's assignment. It finally came and she'll be heading to Madagascar in July!

    Here's her blog:

    She's very excited and reading blogs like yours has really helped her prepare. Your observations of people, customs, etc. are very well written.

    I'd love to talk to your parents about any suggestions they have for supporting our PCV daughters in Africa. If they want to contact me I can be reached at


  4. Alyssa,

    That is really neat! That is going to be a great memory of your time there. I've passed on the link in your blog to people to try and get them to donate. Will see what we can do from the D!

    Miss you.

  5. So what did you tell them when Ghana killed us?