Saturday, March 13, 2010

Senegal, say hello to the storm that is Justin

Finally blogging! Most definitely alive and well, and I guess lots to tell! Let’s start from the beginning…

Arrived in DC on the 8th and had orientation with everyone all day. Then PC (peace corps) gave us some money and told us to go enjoy ourselves on our last night in the states. Of course we went out to eat and then go drinking after – a piano bar in Georgetown (slash Ann Arbor totally needs a piano bar...) Everyone was great and a lot of fun! Got slightly sloshed but so was everyone else. This is going to be a great! I thought I would be the wildest one in the group and I think I definitely have a couple of good matches.

The next day, the 9th, we went to get some shots (the kind you get in the arm – lol gotta start differentiating from this point on) and then it was off to the airport. The 7 hour flight was not bad at all. We arrived in Dakar on the 10th and took a 2 hour minivan ride to Thies, where our training center was located.

So the food is phenomenal. Like I could absolutely eat this every day for the rest of my life. Lunch was this rice and beef dish. We basically all sat on the floor in little groups around these very large communal bowls – big enough to bathe babies. There was rice with spices and veggies and beef and this sautéed onions sauce. Sooo good!!!

The afternoon was filled with interviews, which were a lot of fun too. I had to speak French a lot all day, which I wasn’t prepared to do at all so it was quite interesting trying to form broken sentences, describing things with sentences because I forgot the actual word (skyscrapers becomes houses that are very big and tall, etc.) I think the best was the medical interview. So we’re given a couple of pills for malaria prevention. One makes your skin super sensitive to sunlight but it also clears your acne… so clear skin and beautiful tan? Haha. The other gives you vivid dreams and nightmares. I think this will be quite exciting. Waiting another week for the drug to take effect. Already getting a ton of mosquito bites but I don’t think malaria is looming so alllll gooooddddd….

We also got vitamins to supplement our diet (not that we really need to at this point) but the funny thing is that the label says they’re like prenatal vitamins for pregnant or lactating women. I don’t think I’m pregnant or lactating haha. No but they said something about them having proteins and calcium and all this stuff that’s natural that makes them actually really good for you. Yay for being healthy.

Late in the afternoon, we had a huge tamtam… aka DANCE PARTY!!! Lol these guys came in with drums and we had the center teachers teach us dances. It was awesome, especially when the local children from the neighborhood joined in. ummm, AMAZING! So I have a video of us all dancing together but the file is so big and the internet is not fast enough to post it. Let’s see how I can youtube this sometime… I also really haven’t had much opportunity to pull my camera out – I will try to take more photos soon (though posting them poses to be a problem again.)

On the 11th, we started our classes and began learning about the different cultures, religions, and etiquettes. Oh and get more shots lol. Anyway, I guess one of the noteworthy classes was the “douching” one, where we learned to clean ourselves post-defecation without toilet paper. Haha, of course I attempted this a couple of hours later! Yes, I used my left hand! It was definitely… an interesting experience. With more practice, I will get it perfect! lol I am totally shaking all of you with my left hand when I come home!!

Many more new firsts to come. I think everyone here is wonderful. Things are getting along and I feel much more productive with my life than I have in the past half a year. Lets keep things going!

Miss yall!

My phone number is 011 221 77 118 0814
i think that's how you dial it. call or text me!!! just remember that i am 5 hours ahead of you, east coast time. once i can go to the village, i will buy some time for the phone.


  1. How's your host fam? Any cute kids to play with?

    Also, post your mailing address when you get a chance!

    Miss you.

  2. im counting the reasons why i wuldn't survive in africa.

    first reason: no toilet paper.. WHAT

  3. Yes, post your mailing address. Will mail you a postcard from Taiwan so that you can send me one from Africa. I've never got postcards from Africa. haha!

  4. Daylight Savings was Sunday and I don't know how to change the time on my car radio...