Monday, October 18, 2010

The Office

The mid-service blues/ crisis or whatever you want to call has has hit. I'm not having a crisis of faith or acute homesickness, but I am suffering from a complete and utter lack of motivation. I really don't want to do anything and that's just making me all the more angry at myself. In an attempt to remedy this feeling of general malaise I set off for my office this morning. I haven't been to my office since before Ramadan and the past few times that I went it was chained up and no one was there.

I think that I mentioned that Diof, my Senegalese government sanctioned boss, moved to another city and to terrorize another PCV. The weird thing is that Diof and Mme. Aida apparently just switched jobs. She was in Tivuouane and came to Thies and he was in Thies and went to Tivuouane. I don't really care because I don't have to deal with Diof anymore. This weekend I finally came around to the idea that I should potentially try to meet my new boss. I would just like to state for the record that she hasn't tried to contact me either. Regardless, I caused quite the stir walking into the officer. Mme. Aida was holding a meeting with the staff so everyone was all together when I walked in. While most people greeted me nicely Mme. Aida, the new boss, immediately started chiding me for not coming to see her earlier. I apologized and tried to move on. This is the problem...

Although I really don't like Diof, after I definitely broke out of his grasp he let me do my own thing. I wrote the reports he liked me to give me and we would chat for a little while and I would promise to come in more to chat, which we both knew wasn't going to happen. It was a nice set-up. The PCV in Tivuouane now has to deal with the fact that Diof wants reports all the time. I now have to deal with the fact that the PCV in Tivuouane hung out at her office all the time. That was her social scene. My social scene is definitely not my office it's Dioss and his boy posse or my family. Problems. Mme. Aida immediately goes on and on how I'm supposed to come in every day and help with computers. This is not happening. I agreed to come to a seminar which may or may not be happening on Wednesday so hopefully we can iron out this whole working relationship thing then. Even though the meeting didn't go exactly how I wanted it to I still feel good about going and making the effort.

My other goal for the morning was to make contact with the principal of the Lycee Technique to talk about Junior Achievement. No luck actually speaking with him although he does have several voice mails, which he probably wont be able to understand, from me. I did make JA progress in a surprising way this afternoon. I had a catch-up session with Kether and Emily this afternoon and Kether was very helpful. She works with a USAID funded program which trains teachers. She therefore knows a TON of teachers in Thies and is going to contact the three English teachers she knows at Lycee Technique to see if any of them would be interested in doing JA with me. This, if it works, would be amazing for reasons including, but not limited to the fact that the teacher would speak English, JA might actually become a sustainable program, and I would have someone to help me navigate all of the bureaucracy at the high school. Fingers crossed this will all happen.

Last Saturday I made myself a delicious salad for lunch. Lettuce and tomatoes are just coming back into season and although they are still fairly expensive I treated myself and then ate it in plain view so that my family would see it. My mom and sisters commented on how vegetables are coming back, but that they are still very expensive. So imagine my surprise when my mom walks in late this evening with a bag full of lettuce and tomatoes. It was so nice of her to buy veggies especially since I'm one of the only people who eats them. It was really, really nice and I kept thanking her in order to show my gratitude and lobby for more vegetables!


  1. Alyssa,
    There is always a period of time that nothing seems to go right and you just have to power through and keep your sites on the prize. You will work with the "new boss" and set proper guidelines somewhere in the middle of both your goals. Hopefully the English teachers will be intrusted in JA and make it a long term program with your help.

    I am surprised not to see anything relative to certain football games on blog?


  2. I have become so confident of your ability to sort things out my focus while reading this post was on the generosity of your Mom. She loves you Alyssa. I hope you can convince your family that fresh veggies are a tasty alternative to MSG! Carry on being the nutritional role model!

    PS Good luck with JA and future office shenanigans!