Today Jackie, Alys, and Katherine were in town and we had lunch with a couple of boys from the Health/ EE a year into their service. It was nice to see everyone and hang out a little bit. This morning Jackie, Alys, and I walked Thies and took some pictures for the Insider's Guide, a project eco-tourism PCVs have been working on to promote different sites in Senegal. But, the main event was lunch where we started talking about the end of our service.
Talking about COS (close of service) has been a topic amongst my friends since approximately day 3 of PST so it's not a new topic. The topic is now at hand and that's what makes it so different. Katherine, Jackie, and I have been specifically planning our departure from site for quite some time because we want to do it in high style, but when Katherine starting talking about it today reality set in. I started getting really emotional and I know it's only going to get harder. It's very weird to think about actually leaving even though I'm so excited to go home. I don't want to leave my two little boys and the daily, ridiculous interactions that I have with my family.
With COS quickly approaching, there are still a lot of things that I want to get done. I have work projects like JA and artisan reseau things that I want to tie up before I leave and there are personal projects like getting all of my pictures in order and re-reading my blog for all of the terrible spelling and grammar mistakes that you've been putting up with for the past 21 months. My blog. Oh my. I started reading it today and got through five posts. It's going to be hard. I've already started crying and in blog time I haven't even left the center for the first time and met my family in Tivuouane. This is going to be a disaster.
Anyway, I did do other things today than talk about/ think about leaving. After lunch where we did discuss artisan trials and tribulations with Alys, Katherine and I went to visit Mme. Ly who was selling at the training center today. It was the trainees first Mme. Ly experience and Mme. Ly made bank. Mme. Ly and Khady immediately started rattling off what they had sold once Katherine and I sat down. They knew exactly what was selling, what they needed to make more of, and the popular colors. I felt especially good about the colors since I've really pushed them into the neon colors that are popular in the States right now. They were obviously pleased with the results and Katherine and I were really excited that they were keeping track of their inventory and evaluating their work, what was selling and what wasn't.
Once we were done looking at all of the new beads and earring designs Khady had made, I walked Katherine to the garage where we parted ways. At home, I walked into girl central. All of big Ahmed's female classmates were over making chicken dinner spectacular for a school event tomorrow. The courtyard was literally packed with teenage girls butchering chickens, cutting onions, and pacifying babies after they started crying at the sight of me. It was insanity and big Ahmed was obviously nowhere to be found since he's guy.
The best part about today was seeing my friends and getting their pictures from The Gambia which are now up in the Cape Verde album. Check them out!
Messy, but Warm
1 year ago