Monday, July 19, 2010

The Lingo

When Katherine and I were in Ghana the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers at our hotel could obviously tell we were American by our accents, but they knew without a doubt that we were PCVs by the topics of our conversations and all of the ridiculous acronyms we use on a daily basis. I joined Peace Corps knowing that I would be learning a new, local language, but PCVs also learn to speak in "Peace Corps," a distinct language unto itself. I can only imagine how bizarre and incomprehensible and potentially gross (we talk about bodily functions far too much and too liberally) our conversations must seem to an outsider. To compound the Peace Corps language phenomenon you add an intense need to discuss anything and everything that's going on, speculation about what we will do at the end of our service, and the all important topic of obsession: food and our conversations may not only be weird, but also rather dull.

I mention all of this because Tamar's friend Theresa is here and I've spent the past couple of days with her, but also with Tamar and Jackie and we definitely spent a lot of time rambling as PCVs do while I assume Theresa attempted not to die of boredom. Today we went to Keur Moussa the infamous location of the Catholic monastery that makes goat cheese and various fruit wines. We had a lovely picnic which included sausage (mom, Jackie thanks you!), bread, and cheese. Sitting in a gazebo on the monastery grounds we were serenaded by the monks as they conducted mass, but we didn't attend - instead we talked the PCV talk. I had a wonderful time. I just hope Theresa did as well. The grounds are very beautiful and, at least for me, it's always nice to get out and drive around and see different towns and villages.

From Keur Moussa we went to Pout for some Pojangos of the non alcoholic variety. Pojangos get more delicious the more you make them because you learn just the right combination of yogurt and mango and today we even put bananas in! This is what I get excited about now! We all sat in front of the fan, today was one of the first fairly insufferable days, being attacked by flies and sipping our smoothies. After Tamar, Jackie, and I waxed on for a couple more hours about haircuts, food binges, and seeing family at Christmas, Tamar, Theresa and I headed back to Thies. I really hope that Theresa enjoys the rest of her stay in Senegal and that we didn't bore her too much!

My family didn't make any major purchases today so when I arrived back home people were actually interested in where I had been all day/ desperately wanted me to play Lion King with Ahmed since everyone else had lost patience with him. I played Lion King until I thought I was going to pass out from the humidity. It did rain this afternoon, but the rain only made things worse. Luckily things are cooling down a little bit now and I'm hoping to get a good night's sleep since last night the dog, roosters, and mosques went at it all night.


  1. What a lovely day from your perspective! LOL! Hope Teresa didn't slip into a coma! Speaking of PCV stuff is Tamar wearing a PC Tshirt in the photos from Kedougou? If so I want one pleas!

  2. Alyssa,

    Is there really a difference between what you talk about there and when you were at home? Just a difference slant.