Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Jeenaba and I have started to get a lot closer during Ramadan because Deenba, my usual partner in crime, is resting a lot and trying to lay low - I don't blame her. Jeenaba isn't fasting because she's pregnant and is in charge of wrangling Ahmed and the random little girl staying at our house. We sit around together a lot doing nothing or talking a little bit. Jeenaba seems more removed from the family now that she's pregnant. She tends to sit outside by herself a lot at night which I never noticed before so I'm trying to keep her company. Her pregnancy is now no longer under cover. She's gotten huge in the past couple of days. We were talking about Ahmed and the little girl so I used that as a segue for children in general and slipped in a question about how far along she is. In usual Senegalese fashion she gave me a very vague answer. The baby is coming "soon." Soon is an incredibly relative term here. The boutique next to our house told me that more eggs would be coming "soon" that was four days ago. Therefore, I have no idea when Jeenaba is actually due it could be four days or four weeks or four months from now. I have no idea. We will see.

While I did sit around for hours upon hours today, I also managed to get a little work done. Dioss and I forgot to include a receipt for the cards being exported so I went over to his house this morning to pick one up. That was the easy part. After procuring the receipt I needed to find a place to scan it so I could send the electronic copy to the states for customs. It was actually easier than I expected to find a scanner, but it still took a lot of walking around in the hot African sun. I rewarded myself from this effort with a trip to the post office where I had a package from my parents! Thank you! And I sat with my friends in their air conditioned office for a good hour and a half chatting about nothing. They are an entertaining group though and they have lots of good information. They also never mind answering all of my stupid and potentially culturally inappropriate questions.

This afternoon I took a huge stack of magazines to the center for other people to enjoy and took a group of new trainees to the market to buy fabric for their Korite outfits. We were definitely a spectacle at the fabric store, but all went well and I'm sure they will all be looking their toubab best!


  1. Alyssa,

    It is entertaining that she will not give you an educated guess, do you think others know but they are keeping you in the dark? You should ask the Post Office boys about this cultural habit. I am getting excited to see you soon. All your treasures have been packed and I think there is a little room for our clothes somewhere, I hope.


  2. Ohhhhhhhh Alyssa thank god you are there and not me. I would be creating sheer chaos inappropriately trying to help this girl. The most devasting aspect of this is that she feels so alone while surrounded by family. You are right just to sit by her and keep her company. She must be so scared. I am so glad you are there for her. She is about to discover there is at least one person in this world who will not let her down.

  3. I am enjoying your posts, keep writing! Our son is one of the new trainees, thank you for all your encouragement and support. Garr is doing fine after his "free fall" week. :) Keep up the great work. I think you are very courageous! Liz Harward (Garrison's mom)