Friday, June 18, 2010

Miracle Worker

It's taking me a while to get back into the swing of things here in Senegal and to not feel absolutely exhausted after walking across the courtyard so today I took it pretty easy. This morning I ran around trying to a few errands and getting things in order, but I hung out around the house for most of the day. The morning consisted of organizing my room a little bit and helping Deenba chop a million onions. I was at first terrified of all of the onions for lunch because it usually means that we are having Yassa. Yassa is a dish that most volunteers like, but that I have grown to dislike the more I'm forced to eat it. The dish consists of extremely oil white rice, the ever present onion sauce, and deep fried fish. This doesn't sound bad and I used to like it, but now it tastes so oily to me and the fish has such a weird texture after it's fried and then left sitting around in onion sauce that I can't really stomach it anymore. So, I was disappointed when I thought we were having Yassa because we've been having great food since I've been back. Fortunately we had eggs with onion sauce and lettuce! Yay! Unfortunately there were a million people at the house today so there wasn't that much to go around.

After lunch we all settled in to watch the USA v. Slovenia soccer match. I bribed my family with caramels so they would cheer for the USA. This did open up the conversation about which teams they were rooting for. The African teams, England, and Brazil were at the top of the list. They are very happy that France is a joke. A fact I learned later on during the England v. Algeria match: Algeria is not Africa so they wanted England to win. But, back to the good old US of A. I fill give a short synopsis since I'm sure none of you watched it. The US went down a goal quickly at the beginning and it was 0-2 at halftime. Then we turned it on and scored two awesome goals in the second half. I was screaming and jumping up and down the whole time to my family's amusement and enjoyment. With about 5 minutes to go we were absolutely robbed of another great goal with an offsides call and the game ended in a tie. The England v. Algeria game also ended in a tie so the US still has a shot to go on to the next round. I've never watched more soccer in my life, but it is a really good way to hang out with my family and talk. The best part about the World Cup is that since my family bought the new TV they can get high definition channels for the game, but only in English. So, I get to watch the game in English because all of the boys want to watch it in high def! My family is just ridiculous.

This afternoon I had planned to do some more errands about town, but the miracle worker called me to say that he would be swinging by at some point so I stayed at home and jumped rope with Ahmed. The miracle worker is Talla, my Peace Corps Senegalese supervisor. He is amazing and absolutely awesome. My final Junior Achievement meeting where the students were supposed to present their business ideas was scheduled for Monday, but I was stuck in Ghana. Talla had graciously agreed to come and judge the ideas and answer the students' questions about starting businesses in Senegal since he is a successful entrepreneur himself. On Sunday I had to call Talla from Ghana and explain the situation. With his "I can fix anything attitude" Talla went to the Lycee Technique for me, explained the situation, and postponed the final meeting until this coming Monday so I could attend. Then he called the Junior Achievement office in Dakar for me and had diplomas made for all of my students, which he dropped of at my house this afternoon. All I have to do is write their names (which is easier said than done!). Talla is freaking amazing. Thank you Talla!

Now I'm hanging out waiting for dinner and listening to my family fight. Ohh, the sounds of home.


  1. Please explain why Algeria is not an African country. I'm confused. It seems like there would be a kinship between two former French colonies.

  2. Of course we watched USA vs Slovenia! it was all that would come in on Ma's TV...

    And of course Algeria isn't African, It has a Mediterranean coastline. Flawless logic.