Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Day in the Life of Becca in Senegal

Follow along with the pics found here: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8IZNnDJq2asUU

5:00am - Startled awake by the early call to prayer, blasted through the loud-speakers on the top of the Mosque two doors down from my house. I think they found the worst singer in all of Thies to moan"Allaaaaaaah" into the microphone too.

6:40am - Alarm goes off and I peel myself from my sheets, duck from under the mosquito net, put on the dress I need to wear over my shorts and tanktop to get to the bathroom, have to be decently dressed at all times.

6:45am - Am given new life by the cold water in the shower and nice minty tooth paste

7:00am - Am already sweating by the time I walk the 5 paces from the bathroom to my room, get dressed

7:10am - Meet my closest trainee neighbor, Evan, aka Bas on the corner

7:10-7:25am - Walk to the center, pass stray cats fighting, step over hundreds of squished frogs in the road, greet everyone we pass inWolof.

7:25am - Arrive at the center, greeted by a stray I named "Santa's Little Helper" and then the center guards. Go get something to eat, french bread with pb and j along with tea or nescafe. I know frenchbread might sound all romantic to you, it did to me the first couple days but after a month of no other kind of breakfast,,,I would almost rather eat anything else.

8am - 10am - Wolof class, no french or english unless its absolutely necessary

10 - 10:30am - Break, sit around and speak english as if our livesdepended on it

10:30am - 12:30pm - More Wolof class!!

12:30 Lunch - many people look forward to this because the center lunch varies a lot more than the dinners with our families. The main thing most of us look forward to eating at the center is chicken, served a couple times per week at the center, and I have yet to eat it at home, and I live with a very wealthy family

After lunch - 2:30pm - Break, people nap, read, write letters and journals, play guitar and sing, study language, the crazies go running or play soccer(I say this because mid day I would guess that its about 105 degrees and humid here with the sun beating down)

2:30 - 4pm - Medical session - Only once per week(other times we have tech sessions pertaining to our specialties) today is about malaria. We learn that there are a few different types of malaria, the most deadly one is prevalent here but if we keep taking our meds it'll keep us from getting too sick with it. The mosquitoes that carry this kind of malaria are most active from 10pm to 2 am so bed nets are very important. We also learn that malaria starts out a lot like the flu, but it attacks the liver and we learn how to prepare Malaria smears, sticking our fingers and putting blood on slides.

At some point during the day - Get 2 more shots while the med people are here. Typhoid and Rabies 2 today, Typhoid hurt the most out ofall 10 so far.

4:30 - 6:00pm - Session in the Disco Hut on the Economics of Senegal, or Islam or an other cultural topic

6:00pm - Walk home, greeting even more people, griping about how sweaty and dirty I feel.

6:20pm Get home, usually greeted by everyone in the family, they areready to break the fast

6:30 pm - Break fast with tea and bread and a date Work on my Wolof a bit but usually my brain has turned to mush long ago so mostly revert to French

7:15pm - Eat dinner, sometimes with hand sometimes with spoon, all the time on the ground with the entire fam eating from one big dish. After dinner, sometimes go over to the cyber cafe, sometimes just hangout, talk, practice Wolof and try not to sweat too much. Maybe watchsome Married With Children in French, some Ninja movie (Idy'sfavorite) in French or Munica Brava - An Argentinian soap opera in French. Shower, read a little, go to sleep and start the wholeprocess over again.

Here are some more pics of a trip to the pool (Idy's first) and ourtrip to the coast to a nature reserve http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8IZNnDJq2asU2

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