Friday, March 18, 2011

The First of the Goodbyes

Earlier this week I was in Dakar to say goodbye. The first goodbye happened Tuesday night. Unfortunately, my boss Nicole is heading back to the States to deal with some health issues. Nicole came in as the head of the SED program just a few weeks before my stage arrived in Senegal and it's definitely sad to see her go. Most of the volunteers in my SED came to Dakar for a farewell dinner. The event turned out to be really, really fun. It was great to have time with just the SED PCVs, to reminisce a little, and have an absolutely delicious meal (Nicole got us a deal at a really nice restaurant). The most interesting part about the dinner was the breakdown of the group.

During PST, way back 19 months ago, my language group in Tivaouane was not in a good place. We weren't getting along, Tamar and I wanted to leave every single day, and no one thought that the entire group would make it. We were in rough shape to say the very least. At Nicole's goodbye dinner the Tivaouane 5 was the only complete group! It looks like we're all going to make it!

Ryan, Me, Byron, Tamar and Brian

The next night was the really sad goobye: Oliver's and Ankith's goodbye party. I am terrible at goodbyes. It never gets any easier for me. Katherine always says that if you're good enough friends with the person leaving that you'll see him/ her again and that's there's no reason to cry. I wish that I could practice what Katherine preaches, but I can't.

We spent the morning baking our brains out. Every cookie mix, cake mix, and brownie mix that my friends and I had were baked for the event. Since the oven at the regional house has one temperature "on," it took 5 hours to make everything and approximately 5 minutes for everything to eat everything later that night. The bake goods fest happened after a day spent lounging at the American Club and an amazing dinner at the Chinese restaurant.

Oliver, Ankith, and Jackie showing off some cookies.

I thought that the party would get pretty rowdy and that the fun would help me get over the tough goodbye. A combination of exhaustion (everyone at the party was really tired after hanging out all day and from being in Dakar for too long) and sadness put a damper on the party so by the time 3am rolled around and the boys were heading out to the airport, tears flowed. I held it together better than I thought I would, but it's really sad to see people go. Even though PCVs leaving means that my service is progressing and that I get to go home soon, it's sad because we all rely so much on each other and look forward to seeing other PCVs. Plus these were people that I looked up to when I first arrived. I can't wait to see everyone stateside!

I'm back in Thies as of yesterday and had a really busy day today. Kerry and I met this morning about Junior Achievement and this afternoon I went to see Mme. Ly. I'm starting to work with Mme. Ly on some product development. She's seems really open to all of my suggestions which is exciting. We'll see how things progress.

New pictures are up of recent events. And I'd like to say HAIL TO THE VICTORS!

1 comment:

  1. Those were dark days. I remember watching a video of Tivavoune that Byron posted and breaking down at the conditions you all coped with. You 5 are absolutely amazing!