Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ahmed the Rock Star

Kerry and I had our first meeting together for Junior Achievement at the Lycee Technique. I met Kerry at his house since he's still getting to know Thies and wanted to go to the Lycee together. His house is freaking awesome. It's so big and nice I barely knew what to do with myself. The only weird thing is the guest bathroom...yes, there's a guest bathroom. It has a Western, flushing toilet, but the toilet boil is set into the floor of the bathroom therefore, you have to squat to use the toilet and it's really awkward. Anyway, I digress. Kerry and I had a few minutes to strategize our meeting and outline the questions we wanted answers to. We didn't get very many of those questions answered.

I had very low expectations for this meeting so it went pretty much how I expected it to. After calling Mamour several times before he materialize and then waiting another 15 minutes for Mamour to find Badiane and another teacher, we all sat down to discuss Junior Achievement and our next steps. Unfortunately Badiane is the top man, I like Mamour much better and he speaks pretty good English. The main sticking point is that the Lycee Technique has started teaching another business class called CLE to the 2nd and 3rd year students and they don't want to confuse the students with two programs nor do they want to overlap material which is completely understandable. That leaves the first year students available or at least that's what I thought. I don't think that Badiane wants the first years to do JA; I think he only wants post-grads like who I worked with last year to be involved. Everything kept coming back to scheduling and how difficult it would be to work it into everyone's schedule. The idea to hold multiple classes and to hold it after school or as an elective weren't desirable to the teachers. With classes for the students we are pretty much at square one.

Before we even get to the students we have to deal with the rest of the teachers. The plan is to do some type of training for the teachers, but the teachers at our meeting wanted us to decide what we want to teach, but then they don't like that. Per usual it's a lot of back and forth and discussion that doesn't really go anywhere. The meeting finally concluded with the idea that the teachers would attempt to find a school year calendar for us and we would create a flyer explaining Junior Achievement. We'll see what happens at our meeting next week. Hopefully we will end that meeting at square two.

This afternoon I had the most fabulous Skype date with my Aunt Diane and her class of 3rd graders in Michigan. Her class really wanted to meet Ahmed and Ahmed was only too happy to oblige. Any excuse for him to come into my room so he can look around (and hopefully discover candy or toys) is more than enough. The kids in the US asked him questions and I translated and he just thought he was awesome. They all said "Bonjour Ahmed" and waved and he was just beside himself that they knew his name. Ahmed was so excited. He thought he was a superstar, which he kind of is! He loved, loved, loved looking at my Aunt's class and the kids on the computer until I pointed out that a little video showing me and him was in the corner. Once he saw himself on the computer he could not be stopped. Ahmed started making sexy faces at the camera and kind of dancing around in his chair. He then put my bike helmet on his head so they could see that I let him touch my bike helmet. All of a sudden he turned to me and announced that he would be right back, he had something very important things to do. Fast forward two minutes: snow boots. Oh yeah, he was wearing his snow boots. He was too embarrassed to show the American kids his snow boots, but he knew that he looked damn cool and that was apparently enough. The entire episode was absolutely adorable. I didn't get to talk to my Aunt's class too much with Ahmed hysteria going on, which was only made worse by a momentary power cut and Mami and Khady showing up, but it was still really fun.

Tonight we had salad as part of dinner which was great since I had salad and hummus for lunch after the JA meeting (I'm just so healthy today) and I've watched as my family continues to fight. I haven't figured out exactly what's wrong, but everyone is really mad at Baye and Mami almost beat the crap out of him today. Mami is probably twice Baye's size and could kick his butt if she wanted. Ahmed and I hid in my room and played Go Fish during the fighting. I'm ending my night with some delicious homemade apple sauce courtesy of my mom and harassing PCVs to bring in artisanal goods for the mini expo next week!


  1. Alyssa,

    It will be interesting to see how long it takes Ahmed to come down from his visit? School politics is universal. Force those artisans to bring product and pray that Madame Ly has a good selling meeting. If good sales that will really help getting the artisans moving forward.


  2. Absolutely adorable discription of Ahmed. He reminds me so much of your brother at that age.