Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Firsts of the Lasts

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Today was a really good day.

My ever present social guilt and the fact that I wont have the opportunity to see all of my Senegalese work partners in the near, near future prompted me to call Dioss even though I didn't want to. I don't know why I never want to call Dioss because I always have a pleasant time when I go to his gallery. Today we chitchatted for a little while and then both read books while listening to American soft rock as some of the boy posse ran errands and painted. Dioss has been a really good friend and at the beginning a very good work partner. I hope that my replacement continues a relationship with Dioss. I've recommended in my COS report that he or she asks one of the members of the boy posse if he would like to learn some basic accounting and in that way help Dioss since Dioss has very little interest in learning the business side of his business. The time it took to read an entire Vanity Fair magazine was the amount of time I was willing to sit around Dioss' gallery before returning home, but it was a lovely morning and I'm definitely going to miss Dioss and the rest of the boy posse when I leave.

When I arrived back at home and drenched in sweat (the hot and muggy season is officially here) my mom, Numbe, and Awa were all sitting around the kitchen. The electricity had still not come back 24 hours after it turned off. The three women were eating a tropical fruit that looks like a rotten yellow tomato. I don't think it has an English name and I had definitely never seen it before I came to Senegal. The fruit has a hard rind, thicker than an orange, and inside there are hard seeds covered in a little fruit surrounded by goop. Sounds gross, tastes good. Well, it tastes good after you add sugar to it because before it is incredibly sour. My family likes to freeze them, scoop out of the fruit, and put the fruit in some water to make a kind of fruit smoothie. It's actually pretty good although incredibly time consuming and difficult to eat.

As we ate our fruit and chatted, Numbe caught site of the magazine in my bag and asked to look at it. One of my family's great pleasures are the perfume ads in magazines. They LOVE them. After getting over their initial horror that I would rip pages out of a magazine, they now demand that the fragrance ads are immediately taken out of the magazines so everyone can smell them, rate them, and rub them all over their bodies. It's quite the spectacle and the "which fragrance is better" conversation gets heated quite quickly! It's true female bonding time and it was really fun. I had a great couple of hours, waiting for lunch to be served, sitting with my mom, Numbe, and Awa. There are moments here that are so great and then there's the rest of the time...

After lunch, I headed over the center to put a large bag of miscellaneous objects into a Peace Corps car going to Dakar. I've been trying to clean out my room and either sending things to Dakar, throwing piles and piles of Peace Corps paperwork in the trash, or bring things to the center for other people to pilfer. There are a ton of people in Thies right now working with the new SED trainees and volunteers doing sensitivity training for Peace Corps staff and trainees on being a homosexual volunteer in Senegal.

Due to the large number of volunteers in Thies and the fact that it was one PCV's birthday we all went out to Massa Massa for dinner. Jackie, Katherine, and I had been planning on going to Massa Massa for one last meal and this was a great excuse. Although Lamine, our favorite waiter wasn't there, we all ordered the lasagna and all made ourselves sick off of it. Every time I eat an entire plate of lasagna by myself I remind myself that the reason we split lasagna isn't cost, it's that we make ourselves sick when we eat it by ourselves. Two years later and the lesson is still not learned!


  1. Alyssa,

    And you said the Seneglese have a tough time learning and following through.


  2. One of the reasons I am glad you went to the Peace Corps is the awareness you now have of "sisterhood" and the importance of the company of women....both Senagalese and your American colleagues. I am sooooo happy you have had this experience.


  3. I love that you didn't even let me get my own lasagna at Masa-masa!