Friday, August 27, 2010

toilets, eyeballs and mosquitoes

i am home. i have a home here. home home home

i wish everyone was here because i don't even know where to begin.
before we moved out of the dorms at suffolk we had our final orientation for cross cultural tips. all the ciee students went to the baobab center where we ate a legit (i guess that's not what we had all week) senegalese meal. meaning gather around this huge bowl on the floor that everyone eats out of WITH YOUR HANDS. needless to say it was a mess. there were fish eyeballs rolling around everyone had oil all over their faces and it was oozing through our fingers while we tried to keep our dignity and composure. nope.

some friends and i came back and figured we had an hour and a half until our families came to pick us up so might as well go exploring right? cool because we got lost and we got back to campus with about 3 minutes to spare. guess who has the ONLY african family who is on time. so i met my yaay/mama and i was sweaty dirty and extremely disheveled. way to go sarah way to go.

we took a taxi to ouakam, and at least mama thinks i'm funny because i think that's all i've got going for me.

i met carlos- sweet sweet soul. he has the nicest belly like a jolly grandpa and he doesn't call me by my name (probably because no one remembers it) instead he snaps in my direction but very lovingly. he doesn't talk much but i really like him because and i think he will take good care of me.

mama likes to laugh at me. she talks to me in wolof. not sure when she will realize i have no idea what she is saying. but she also speaks french with the heaviest wolof accent EVER so most of the time we smile laugh and then move on.

ma soeur bineta (beenta)- she is 24 and i like her a lot. she does a lot of the work around the house so she is usually pretty busy, but i think we are going to get along really well.

this is my immediate family. i can't possibly tell you any other relations but i know one ciee student is my aunt and 2 are my sisters (cousins). we all live right next door to each other and i think we are going to have a great time. apparently all the families in ouakam are semi related so people keep telling me oh this is your tata or this is your sister! i smile a lot and say aah oui! bien sur! bonjour ma soeur.

also there is a guy that ate dinner with us and he does business so he knows a little english but he has been helping me out a lot so far. i think he is my age but africans i am pretty sure age backwards so my mama looks 30 but is probably 50. anywho i can't ever have a crush on this guy because it would be incestuous i am pretty sure.

i have already made many mistakes but hey it's fine. i gagged on cabbage at dinner and i can't figure out how to flush the toilet so i ignore the problem as usual. carlos asked me if i was getting bitten by mosquitoes but i thought he said something about liking music so i said, "ah oui! j'aime la musique!"...ha whoops.

guess who won't be using toilet paper this semester. for real though. it's all about the water scoop.


  1. Just pee behind something like we did in Mexico!

  2. can you do this forever? not necessarily the living in senegal thing...but the blog thing.

  3. Oh Sarah, and you had no idea what the Boundary Waters trip was preparing you for? That trip was plush compared to now, right? In Mexico we had no t-p either, pages from an TV guide worked tho'