W.A.I.S.T.

Trip Start Jun 13, 2013
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Flag of Senegal  ,
Friday, February 22, 2013

A little known affair known as the West African International Softball Tournament, pretty random I agree. Teams from all over are invited to show off their softball skills, or lack there of, cough cough Peace Corps, during a weekend tourney in Dakar. Expats unite!
Peace Corps Senegal is split up according to the region that you live in while volunteers belonging to other countries that make the trip are represented by one team. For the sake of making things interesting each Peace Corps team dresses up to a common theme. For example our Region, Kolda, dressed up as Super Hero and Mega Villains where I was Cruella de Ville because she is the most evil of all, she kills puppies! We also had Wonder Woman, Captian Planet, Rainbrow Bright, ect. Kedagou I believe was the Geriatrics where everyone dressed up as “old people” and pretty much walked really slow while having crows feet and spider veins drawn on them. Peace Corps Guinea were The Runs, apparently volunteers in Peace Corps Guinea have the most cases of diarrhea, who knew? In summary we are NOT serious at all when it comes to these games so we were put in our own league this year to compete amongst each other; no other teams wanted to play us. Ouch. I understand considering we had drinks of the field, pitched with people on our shoulders, played guitar while on the field or had a whole team run to first once the ball was hit. Touché.

While at W.A.I.S.T. expats of all sorts were kind enough to let us stay at their houses since we could not fit all of us at the Dakar Peace Corps house. We split ourselves into groups and my little group (Alexx, Julia and myself) had the opportunity to stay at the Peace Corps Country Directors house along with 4 or 5 other groups. It was a great chance to get to know and party with new and old volunteers from other regions.

Since the softball games are during the day there were prearranged events at night to keep us busy, and out of trouble somewhat I am sure. The first night there was a party of sorts at the bowling alley, which may not sound too exciting to some of you but considering there is only one bowling alley in the entire country, and hours from most volunteers, we were excited to say the least. And it reminds us of America. Also they had a great menu at a discounted price featuring many American type dishes (hamburgers, wings, wraps).

The second night after the games the Marines of Senegal, all ten of them, threw us a Rave by the Waves. They had all sorts of beverages and a DJ all located close to the beach, thus the name. Though dancing is always fun a few of us found it more exciting that there was a playground on the quarters that had swings! Swings! I can’t remember the last time I was on a swing set but it has clearly been too long. Alexx got really sick as we were about to go out, no not alcohol related, and so she was not able to make it to the Marine party. Sad.Sunday night and Monday were filled with nothing other than, shaving our heads! We are donating the hair to Locks of Love and since hot season is sneaking up on us there was no better time. I told my host family what I was doing while in Darkar and my host mom said absolutely not. She was more than surprised when I had actually done it. Sorry Nene but it was for a good cause! I tried to explain to her in Pular but you can just about imagine how good that conversation went since the two year old knows more Pular than I do. I told her “there are sick kids in America. They don’t have hair. I cut my hair. They wear my hair.” I think I just confused her more but when I explained this to the guy that works at the hotel he walked away from our conversation shaking his head saying “oh Americans.” What? The best part was that we used two razor blades, literally only the blades, and a beard trimmer to get the job done. Talk about resourceful!

Monday night Alexx, Trevon and myself had dinner plans with Falia, a teacher that was on the school trip to Palmarin. Her husband was in the Peace Corps and understood how desperate we were for American home cooking so of course they had us over for Mexican, even better! We tried to be on our best behavior but were overwhelmed with all the food and drink options, I am sure we come off as hooligans, especially since we are the worst dinner guests ever and didn’t bring a thank you bottle of wine or anything. Apparently when you live in a third world country and do things such as eat with your hands and bath from a bucket your manners go out the window. Opps, sorry Falia but everything was great!

I stuck around Dakar for a couple extra days for a dentist appointment. I thought I had a cavity, no worries cavity free, so I thought I would check it out while I was in town. To say the least this dentist helped four volunteers in an hour and a half that included four x-rays, two cleanings, one filling and one crown. He was speedy and I am sure not as precise as we would have wanted but thank god I was only there for a cleaning.

Back at site and time to get down to business with work. I always have a mild feeling of being overwhelmed and unqualified while here, which makes sense because I kind of am unqualified since I have never actually run a business or taken classes in waste management. I guess this is as much of a learning experience for me as it is for my work partners.

March is going to be a busy month so hopefully I will have a lot more to report. Take care everyone and remember a wise man once said, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna’ get.”

Cheers.
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