Monday, February 7, 2011

Starting to Feel Better

The haze of my cold is finally lifting (I'm able to function as a normal human being although I'm still not 100%) and I find myself back in Thies. I'm currently sitting in my absolutely filthy room, since I forgot to close my window slats, after a really long run in Dakar.

Thursday was the second and last day of the mini Artisan Expo. I was legitimately a zombie. My cold was at its peak and I could barely sit up straight let alone talk to people about artisanal goods and make change for their purchase. I actually didn't even make it through the entire day and after apologizing profusely to Madame Ly for leaving her at the Expo, I packed up the goods I was responsible for and took a taxi back to the Peace Corps office where I was able to acquire sudafed, a giant bag of cough drops, and promptly sink into a deliciously comfortable couch in the air conditioning with a bowl of macaroni and cheese. Although I was barely functioning during the mini Expo and the event wasn't exactly what I thought it would be, the Expo itself was fairly successful. The artisans sold approximately 800 USD combined. Madame Ly was the big seller accounting for almost 500 USD. It was also nice that the artisans trusted each other, called each other during the event to check in, and are excited to try the entire process again later this month at WAIST. We are also planning a day or two long training in Thies for the artisans where they will elect the rest of an executive board (Madame Ly as president is the only elected official right now), talk about bylaws such as dues, and just meet again to hopefully further collaboration.

Surprisingly, after a night of American food, trashy television, sudafed, air climate control, I did wake up feeling slightly better. Unfortunately, my cold did take over my ears and I could barely hear anything which made it very difficult to communicate with the doctors on Friday. I had to go have some tests done on my knee Friday morning, I will hopefully have results or at least next steps later this week, and the doctor thought I was a complete idiot who didn't understand a word he said in French, but I just couldn't hear him. The rest of Friday was very low key hanging out at the office and eating delicious food including a very romantic date with Katherine at a Thai restaurant.

I continued to feel progressively better throughout the weekend so my friends convinced me to stay for the Super Bowl, which ended up being very, very fun. Since the always excellent Detroit Lions were not featured in this year's Super Bowl, I did cheer for the Steelers. The US Marines stationed in Dakar invited us Peace Corps Volunteers and some Embassy employees over to their house for the festivities, which started at 11:30pm in Senegal! My friends and I had made some delicious vegetable dip and cut up a bunch of veggies since eating is always on my our minds and one has to have snacks at the Super Bowl. We thought we would be the lame girls who brought veggies and that there wouldn't be any other food, but there was and everything was delicious and really set a great atmosphere for the game/ helped me stay up until 3am when the game finally ended! It was a very fun party. There were a bunch of PCVs and other Americans and the room was fairly evenly split between Packers and Steelers fans. Unfortunately we didn't get to watch any of the commercials since we were watching military TV, but that's what I'll be doing the rest of the night online!

After lunch in Dakar I headed back to Thies with Jackie and Emily and went to the post office where I had a ridiculous amount of mail!


Shout out to my mom and dad for the non-disclosed number of packages today. My friends are going to be very, very, very excited about all of the treats I'll be bringing to WAIST. THANKS!

Shout out to Ma for the wonderful Valentine's package. My family with love all of the candy and Ahmed is already coloring in his new coloring book while I'm typing this post! Thanks.

Shout out to Leigh and Shirley for two wonderful letters. You guys are the best!

That's the update from Senegal. Tomorrow I'm back to work in Thies. Dioss and I have a lot of work to do since his cards were finally received in the US of A. We are going to work on a bio that will be featured along with the cards!


  1. Alyssa,

    Feel better, the artisans are on a roll, keep it up.


  2. Woot! Woot! What a memorable way to watch the Super Bowl!!!!
    The mail service is simply inexplicable. I sent those packages a month apart. So glad to know Dad and I are contributing to the WAIST "experience.";)

  3. Alyssa, thanks for cheering for the Steelers! They needed all the help they could get. But it looks like "Seven can wait" at least until next year.