Monday, March 21, 2011

The Personalities

Today was all about the personalities...

Talla burst into my compound this morning like a giant ball of energy wearing a fedora. I know that he was coming today for a site visit and I had been waiting for him all morning. As soon as I heard the rumble of the compound's, metal door, I went out to greet Talla. My mom heard it too and came to investigate since she thought she was the only person home. I briefly greeted Talla and was handed Abdou, who my mom was holding, and then the two of them talked about me like I wasn't there. Apparently Talla doesn't worry about me because I'm in Thies, where he also lives, and do great work and my mom rattled of what she considers my best attributes:

1. I bring presents back with me when I'm away
2. I hold the baby
3. I sit with the family

Yes, I have a highly sought after and cultivated skill set that involves being able to purchase tea and sugar and then sit staring off into space while holding an infant. It was nice to hear, even if both parties were exaggerating, that I'm a fairly good PCV.

Just as quickly as he appeared, Talla vanished and I was on with the rest of my day. I spent most of the morning waiting for Talla and cleaning my room so I only had time to run a few errands and stop by the post office before things started closing down for lunch.

Shout Outs!!!
Shirley - Thank you for another amazing letter!
Mom and Dad - Thanks for the package with all of the magazines! Mme. Ly LOVES American magazines now and all of the ideas for product development she can find in them.

Speaking of Mme Ly... I went to visit her this afternoon and when she saw me she did not look happy. She gave me a terrible look as I was walking up to her stand and I started to get really nervous because I didn't know what I had done. Mme. Ly grabbed me in a hug as usual and then grabbed the necklaces I was wearing, in an accusatory manner, and demanded to know where they were from. I bought the necklaces from her! She didn't recognize them because I was wearing three strands together. Mme. Ly proclaimed my styling expertise, I must say I agreed with everything she said, and then "came up with," the idea to make a three strand necklace. At least it looks like her creative juices are flowing and she's excited about product development. If you're interested in the necklaces I was wearing, go back and look at the pictures from the Murder Mystery party. Each strand is composed of dried grains (the small, brown pieces that look like glass beads) and traditional, multi-colored clay beads.

Back at home Ahmed had his friend Jean-Jacques over. I love Jean-Jacques. He is absolutely hilarious. Jean-Jacques is a 75 year old man trapped in a 5 year old's body. He's so incredibly polite, but too forward at the same time and has the funniest mannerisms. There is a very popular dance heating up the dance floors in Senegal right now and Jean-Jacques has it mastered and breaks it out all the time. The kid puts a smile on my face as soon as I see him especially since he always wants to hold my hand as I ask him about school. Too cute.


  1. Puhleeeeeeeease shoot video of Jean-Jacques and his dance moves. He is adorable.
    I am curious...what does your family think of Madame Ly's jewelry? Would they wear it? Is it only Westerners who think it's beautiful?

  2. Alyssa,

    No more Tiffiany boxes for you. Madame Ly is going to install a camera to watch you even when you come back to the States.