Sunday, August 8, 2010


Through being lazy, not having anything exciting to write about, not having power, and the union strike which shut down phone and internet service I have been woefully neglectful of my blog. Here's the update.

Dioss Update:
One day last week after the camp I tracked Dioss down because I had to give him a form to fill out about his bank account for the woman who is importing his cards. I say track Dioss down because he wasn't at home, but at what is a sketchy bar at night listening to some type of training given by a Spanish NGO. When I arrived I thought he was hanging out with friends because he knows a couple of musicians who frequently play at the bar. I didn't want to pull him out of the training, but when Dioss has something in his head he wants to do it right then. He really has two thought processes: procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate, or now, now, now. My plan was to drop the paper off with Dioss and then he would go to the bank and get all of the information I needed. Well, Dioss hates banks and distrusts people who work at banks and really wanted me to go with him. The banking system here is extremely complicated so I can understand his hesitation about going alone.

Amazingly, we got all of the numbers we needed and were out the door in a relatively short amount of time. This means Dioss is now all set up to receive money transfers from abroad, not to mention that he now has a real savings account that, I think, he knows how to use. Pretty exciting. This coming week I'm planning on visiting him every day to make sure the shipment will be done well ahead of time. Plus, I want to see him when he receives all of the money into his account. I hope he's as excited as I am!

Camps Updates:
The English camp is over and went really well. It was a lot of work and we could've made it a lot better if we had known that there was no structure and we were completely in charge, but I think the kids had a really good time. The final day with the talent show and the dance party were hilarious and pictures of the week are now up!

On Saturday most of the PCVs in the Thies region met up for our girls' camp meeting. The camp was fully funded as of a couple of weeks ago. Thank you so much to everyone who donated. The schedule of events for the camp is really coming together and I think it's going to be really, really, really fun and special for the girls. I'm currently terrified because I'm running the training for our Senegalese counterparts and I'm worried about my language skills!

Senegalese Counterpart Update:
Another PCV who lives near me called me a couple of days ago distraught because she had just met Diof who was obviously mean to her. She called to tell me that her supervisor had switched locations with Diof and we would therefore be switching supervisors! This explains while Diof hasn't been answering my calls and the office has been locked for the past three weeks. I'm thrilled that I get a new supervisor who is female and supposedly really nice! It sucks for the other volunteer and I definitely feel badly for her.

Family Update:
I didn't spend that much time with my family last week because of the English camp and all of my friends were in town so today we hung out all day. They are just as hilarious as usual. Ahmed is thrilled I'm back and completely obsessed with me right now. As we walked he wanted to hold my hand and I'm pretty sure strutted his stuff as all of the little kids in the street looked at him in wonder as he held the hand of a toubab!

After Khady and Ahmed ate their delicious fried bean curd sandwiches for breakfast, I had to abstain because I'm trying to cut down on all things fried, I decided that I wanted breakfast and went to the boutique next to our house. It is selling tapalapa, or village bread, now! I couldn't be happier. Village bread is a million times better than the crappy, machine processed, baguettes that my family eats and really hard to find in Thies. I was snacking on it while walking back into my house when Khady caught me.

Khady: What are you doing?
Me: Eating tapalapa.
Khady: I can see that. Why?
Me: Because it's delicious and better than baguettes.
Khady: You're a cowcow.(cowcow in Wolof means white trash)

Only poor people eat tapalapa so I'm pretty sure that Khady thinks I'm hurting her high class reputation by purchasing and eating the bread in public.

The other big news at my house is that we finally got some water last night. The spigot turned on long enough to fill most of our containers. This is after day 14 without water. My family is still worried, and legitimately so, that the water will cut again for a significant period of time so we are still all buying bottled water to drink. I took Ahmed to the boutique with me this afternoon to buy water. He inhaled three quarters of a piece of cake on our way there and stuffed the rest in his pocket. Once at the boutique he spotted suckers and begged me to get him one. I told him he just ate a piece of cake and didn't need a sucker, but when he explained to me that he was going to combine the two I broke down and bought him a sucker. I can't resist him.

After a full day of family I'm currently hiding in my room eating some Indian food from a pouch because I don't want to eat millet and milk for dinner tonight! All of the camp pictures are now up; check them out!


  1. Alyssa,

    Welcome back and hopefully the power will stay with you. Nice pictures, it looks like everyone is having a good time.


  2. Are you eating village bread with that pouch of Indian food? Cowcow!!! It seems like the root should be toubab!