Saturday, October 16, 2010

Time Warp

It looked like it was going to rain all day today. I was convinced that it was going to rain. The sky was overcast and a cool breeze blew all morning, but when I told Mami and Deenba that I thought it was going to rain they burst out laughing at me and told me that the rainy season is over. Obviously. For the record, it rained two days ago. This just proves how amazingly clueless and stupid one can sound after living in a country for 14 months. Although I haven't been at home in over a year, today marks my one year anniversary of being a Peace Corps Volunteer. I swore in as a volunteer one year ago today. I would assume it's quite a shock to most people, including myself, that I'm still here.

So what's happened?

Another rainy season has apparently come and gone and I now speak enough Wolof that my family today compared me to a Senegalese woman on TV who they claimed had spent too much time in France and now speaks Wolof like a toubab - they meant it as a compliment, that I now speak good Wolof. Or at least that's what I'm pretending they meant. Although I still struggle with guilt about not spending enough time with my family and leaving site and being unbelievably bored by sitting around watching terrible Wolof television, that pain is also subsiding. The last time I was in Dakar I only had one complete meltdown at a taxi driver and today walking around in Thies I actually took a little boy into his compound so we could tell his mother together that he called me a terrible name. I'm sure she didn't care, but I sure felt good about it. I also ran an entire mile after the men's soccer team took the field next to the trap and started to cat-call me. That's perseverance.

The past year has also been a time warp. It's crazy. Matt recently made the mistake of thinking this was the first year that we were both out of school. Nope. That was last year. The days can definitely drag, but the time seems to fly and the new SED and Ag volunteers are going to start to install into their sites on Monday. Don't worry the welcome party planning started weeks ago.

The strange passage of time will no doubt continue as I attempt to navigate and plan, as much as that is possible to do here, the next and last year of my service. Next week I'm going really get on the ball with the artisan expo, which will hopefully be the biggest and best ever, and Junior Achievement, which hopefully wont include another class of 50 discontent recent grads. The past year was unbelievably difficult and amazing. I'm sure the next one will be just as frustrating and rewarding. Congrats to the the Fall '09 Stage! One year down, one to go!


  1. Alyssa,

    Congratulations on your year anniversary. You have done amazing things for others and have learned alot about yourself. Oh by the way Iowa ended up with more points than Michigan, I think that means that your school lost again. What was the school that you mentioned sucking? Oh, by the way MSU won.


  2. You are right our minds do process time differently relative to our psychological state. Dad seems to only acknowledge the passage via a scoreboard time clock.
    Just to clarify, for your grandmothers,you have been in Senegal for 15 months but an official PCV for 12. I don't want any confusion about the year passing was actually 15!!! Oh! I've never understood this time relativity thing.

  3. Congratulations Alyssa on one year as a PCV! I’m so proud of you. …And don't worry about the Spartans I'm sure it’s only a couple weeks until they eventually they'll blow it