Tuesday, November 16, 2010

back to city life

so we are home again.
back from one week in the brush as they say.

some of this is a journal entry

we are in Nguethie (engage-ch)
we are with peace corp volunteers (PCV) lauren and alex

 the ride to get here was fairly easy. we snagged a sept place (7 seat taxi) from downtown that went to mbour and then from mbour we grabbed one to the village. i say this was easy and in relative terms it was but anyone who is not familiar with the system would probably have a heart attack. the garres where you get a car is more than insane and people just grab and pull you around. all in the name of fun.
the best part of the trip was when we veered off the road and drove through nothing. there was a "road" but really it looked the drived had no idea where he was going and we just drove through dessert. it was a hoot.
but finally we make to the village of nguethie safe and sound.
i soon find out that i am staying in the house of a 4 time olympic wrestler Ambrose Salle and he is now the coach of the Senegalese national wrestling team and he is chief of the village and he has a pet pig named simon that is the biggest pig i have ever seen.

the village life is sweet so chill and so lovely. we slept on a concrete floor with a floor mat under us, the first night we hung a mosquito net by candle light. there were ladders involved. it was quite the spectacle.

the language of the village is sereer but people also speak wolof and french so that was nice that we could still communicate with people and also learn some new stuff.

some of the activities we did included:
building a fence for lauren's future garden (she is an agroforestry volunteer so her projects have to do with those kinds of things)
we painted a mural of senegal on the wall of a classroom
went kayaking through mangroves and the slept on the beach (best part for sure) 
planted mangrove seeds
climbed inside a baobab tree and drank coffee inside
harvested rice

one night we cooked dinner for the family that two of our guys were staying with. we made omelets and fries because thats about all we could make with food that was in the village. it went well i think if you forget about the bugs that accidentally got in the eggs and the fact that the power went out halfway through cooking making it hard to flip eggs or see how done the fries were.

while we were camping-we went with 2 guys that worked with our PCVs- we heard some kind of animal howling and so we asked one of the guys pierre, we said (in sereer) what animal is that? pierre responds :jackals
we say: oh cool....are they close?
pierre: they are here
 ....ah yes good well alright.

also the water that we camped on was bio-luminescent. SO COOL. so when it was really dark we went in and splashed around and these little lights danced all around our feet. lovely.

one of the conversations we had at laurens house was with this guy louis. louis liked to try to speak english and he loved drawing things in the sand. didnt matter if it was a word a map or anything he would bend down and draw it in the sand. so we were talking about climate (this is a huge conversation starter in senegal. everyone loves the climate talks) and we told him it snowed in the us already and then he said wow. there must be a lot of babies. and we said...what. and then he said people just have sex during the winter when it snows because you can't leave your house. we then gently corrected his ideas of what snow and winter mean. we tried to make it g rated and say you just curl up and drink hot things and read and sit by the fire and play in the snow. he didn't really seem to understand. but whatever. to each her own.

so then on the way home we took another sept place but really it was a ten place because there were 10 people...not seven. we did the whole off roading thing again and i was sitting by the window. i dozed off and woke up to rain. i thought how strange, there are no clouds. what i failed to realize before i got into the car was that there was a sheep on top. i was getting peed on. we still had a good 5 hours left in our trip. awesome.

now fast forward to yesterday.
i called this day fall jubilee.
my friend billy got a package from him mom and we were about to have a meeting for cipfem when he opened it. not even kidding there was pumpkin bread, chocolate chip cookies and then another chocolate peanut butter thing. billy, bless his soul, shared it with all 10ish people in the meeting. we went crazy. people were dancing, laughing and just eating eating eating. we were so happy and we finally felt like we got to experience and little bit of fall. it was glorious.

everything here is glorious.


  1. Yay! Back on the blog. My students loved the story where you thought the pee was rain. Also they want to skype with you again.