Yup, I'm actually doing it. I'm taking the plunge. Starting August 12th I will be in Senegal working as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Camp: The Finale
Girls cried today. We put on a good camp!
The bus hired to take girls home arrived at 10am today so right after breakfast we had to start the closing ceremonies. Each girl received a certificate of accomplishment and a group shot of all the PCVs, Senegalese counterparts, and campers. They were really excited about the pictures and the certificates and several of them were crying as we were reading off names and giving final instructions. It definitely felt good to get some emotion out of the girls. For me, it's very difficult to gage Senegalese people's reactions to things. To an American it seems like they don't show a lot of emotion so after a week of hoping the girls had a good time, tears finally showed us that the camp was a great experience for them. I really hope they took away more from the camp than just a week away from their families, chores, and cooking. I think they did. Everyone was exchanging contact information with their new friends and was really sad to see camp come to an end.
I'm really happy that we did this for the girls and that they had a great time, but I'm also really happy it's over. We are all exhausted! We sent the girls and the Senegalese counterparts off on the bus and we stayed to have a small celebration for ourselves, debrief about the camp, clean up, and pack up. This is when hilarity ensued.
Katherine had two charettes, horse carts, meet us at the university for all of our baggage. She took one to her house and the rest of us took the other one to a random tree on the side of the road to pick up a bus headed East. We put all of our bags and three volunteers on the charette and the rest of us walked behind the cart has Jackie held her speakers in the air playing really loud music as we all sang along. Needless to say people were staring out their car windows at us. At one point the horse finally started to do something more than walk so the four of us not on the charette were left behind. This is when we saw a bus flying toward us. We took off running down a dirt track parallel to the road in order to catch up to our bags and get on the bus. We looked ridiculous. The best part was that Jackie held on to the speakers the whole way so when we arrived at the bus we were all panting, sweating, and trying to sing along to Rhianna. Classic.
The bus was even more fun. We continued listening to loud music on our speakers and singing along to Tom Petty, Paul Simon, and other road trip classics to the mixed amusement and annoyance of our fellow travelers. Near the end of our trip two giant Senegalese woman came and sat next to me. They were dressed in full Senegalese finery and looked great. To say that I looked like a scrub is being far to generous after sweating all morning, cleaning, running down a red dirt road, and having already sat on the bus for an hour. These women started hard core dancing with me to completely inappropriate rap songs. It was epic and something that I can't describe here on my blog. It was the absolute perfect way to end the camp. Another amazing memory.
I want to give one more GIANT shout out to all of the people who donated to and supported the camp. We couldn't have done it without your support! I've also uploaded close to 400 pictures from the camp in the "Kedougou and On" so check those out and I will upload hilarious videos as I edit them! Thanks again!
PCV Alyssa Titche Corps de la Paix B.P. 957 Thiès, Senegal West Africa
* Make sure it's "Par Avion" by Air and that there's a sticker * Please put insurance on packages and even letters because customs officers will rip open both looking for goods and cash * If you are amazing and sending me a package write "Religious Materials" or "Personal Products" on the outside to further deter customs officials, also it is best to buy a flat rate box to reduce the custom fees I have to pay on my end! * Number your letters so I know if I'm missing one as mail will probably take 2-3 weeks to get from you to me
I also have Skype so make me one of your contacts. My Skype name is: alyssatitche
Cell Phone! Call me on Skype! 221-77-330-48-40
Wish List: Goodies, Treats... and Necessities
100 Calorie Packs
Jiff Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
Mixed CDs (Leigh and Alex sent one and it was AMAZING)