Well I’m back in Kaolack after nearly a month away for training. I returned to Kaolack to the Sine-Saloum heat and a nearly finished apartment. My new place is great, my host dad calls it “The White House in the Sky” – I think he had it painted white on purpose. At first glance it may very well be nicer than any of the apartments I lived in as a student, but then after living in it a little while you come to realize that it’s still the same shoddy work as most of the buildings around here. The folks who laid the tile ended up getting cement all over that refuses to come off, the shower doesn’t drain properly and the screens and windows have space between them for any malaria-ridden mosquito to fly right in (don’t worry, I’ve taken care of that one with duct tape!). Oh well, it only has to last a couple more years right? I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining though, I really am quite lucky that I have all the amenities I do. Some of my visitors have even said “Wow, it’s like I’m not even in Senegal anymore.” It’s like my own little oasis. We’ll see how it goes with the rainy season.
Speaking of seasons, I am frightened. My group got here at the very end of the rainy season and I remember it seeming pretty hot but I was chalking that up to the adjustment from mid-west autumn. The “cool” season (Nov – March) in Kaolack means that at night it cools off slightly and you don’t need to sleep with a fan blowing in your face – I was actually using a thin blanket for a little while there. During the day it’s still hot as H E double hockey sticks. Thus my fear – I’ve been told that there are three levels of hot here; “Wow its hot!” “Oh my God its really hot!” and “Holy sh*t, it’s so f*cking hot if I move I may die!” I’ll keep you posted on that.
What have I done in the last month?? Well, I went to the beach, sunbathed and swam in the Atlantic Ocean, I hung out with my pals from my stage, drank some wine and beer, ate some burgers, Went to Dakar where I played some softball, ate a couple hotdogs(imported from the US), ran into someone in a bar who knows my sister, got kicked in the arm by some jerk in the French military who can’t hold his liquor, was voted one of the new fund-raising coordinators for SeneGAD (Peace Corps Senegal’s Gender and Development group – works mostly with girls clubs), got into a couple heated discussions about the infamous Danish political cartoon, hosted my first visitor from the US, learned some good techniques for business development and training, came up with a plan my the next 6 months here, cleaned and setup my new room and celebrated International Day of the Woman(March 8th) in style. So now after that huge run-on sentence I’m ready to start working. I’ve got several projects in mind so hopefully I’m not spreading myself too thin, only time will tell.
I’ll be posting photos soon so be sure to check www.lespritdebecca.shutterfly.com