Saturday, June 18, 2011


Trainee site placement interviews continued yesterday and I continued to be absolutely fascinated not because I see myself two years ago, but because I see my projects two years from now. The new group of trainees is overall older than my group, has more experience, and already speaks better French. The number of people with retail and marketing backgrounds who want to work with artisans is staggering and they are chomping at the bit to take the Peace Corps Artisan Association to the next level with their expertise, contacts back in the US, and their excitement at what their service holds. It's a little sad that I wont be around to see everything first hand, but don't worry, I'm coming home.

The nostalgia is definitely kicking in. The new stage is so excited to get to know each other, so excited to learn local languages, and so excited to get to work. I can finally see why some people do extend their services for a third year(again, don't worry this is happening, I already have a plane ticket). At this point in my service no matter how incredibly annoyed I am with the country of Senegal and everything it entails, I can still get things done. The artisans, even after the catastrophe that was the St. Louis Jazz Fest, are still excited about the association and call me incessantly to talk about. With my language skills and cultural understanding at the point they are now, I could do great things with a third year just like some of my stage-mates will do with their third year. But, back to the new stage...

PST is going well. Who the hell thought I would ever say that in any context? I was at the center all day again yesterday doing interviews, answering questions, and participating in the cultural fair where I lead the Islam talk for the forth time. Last night since the trainees are still not allowed to leave the center I lead/ created a trivia night for them. While the questions might have been a little titled toward the Alyssa/Katherine weird knowledge/ obsessions side, it was still fun and I hope a success.

Fortunately, I am able to take a little break from the center today and try to become a whole human being again. The past ten days have been crazy. Katherine and I worked our asses off all day in St. Louis and then may or may not have had a little too much fun at night, then 5 days in Dakar for COS Conference, and now PST. In return for all of my hard work, I have earned a very persistent head cold and complete exhaustion. I slept for 10 hours last night, got up, eat breakfast, pretended to do work for an hour, and then took an almost two hour nap. Yeah. I want to spend some time with my family today because I've barely seen them this month and I have very little time left.

I did spend a little time with my family today. Operative word being little since I was so, so, so tired. My main interaction was holding a stick on one side while Ahmed held it on the other in order to prevent him from seeing how many times one can poke a light bulb before it breaks. I had to take several naps both in my room and on the floor of the living room when the power was out and it was too hot to be in my room without a fan. I think tomorrow I will be close to normal and can continue with normal live. Tomorrow is also the Thies walk around so the trainees will be let out of the center for the first time! Hopefully I wont scare them too much!


  1. We must send Ahmed more toys! Get some rest!

  2. Alyssa,

    Enjoy your time remaining, we won't worry that you will extend your stay.


  3. You come home soo soon!!! I can't believe it! Get pumped! Well first, take some cold meds and have a nap, then get pumped!