The Settling In

Trip Start Mar 11, 2007
1
10
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Trip End May 2009


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Flag of Senegal  ,
Monday, July 9, 2007

So the three days following that awful morning were in fact my first really sick days in Africa.  I had a wopping headache that no amount of medicine or visits by the motchkat (medicine man) could lessen and I couldn't keep anything down.  The thing about getting sick here is that you immediatly think its the worst, like Malaria or disintery or all those other nasty sounding illnesses, however I think all it was was a virus and so after three days of rest and lots of water felt much better.  I really was visited by a medicine man by the way.  He was a rather young guy who with his hands attempted to eliviate the pressure in my head by massaging it and then he did this interesting move that involved blowing on his fingers to help with my neasea...and you know...  I didnt throw up again.

So then I went away for a bit to celebrate the forth of July with some other volunteers.  I met some new people and had a hamburger and brownies and it was amazing.  Any dish that doesnt involve rice or fish is a welcomed treat.  And its not to say that the fish and rice here are bad, certainly not its very good in fact, but its the lack of variety that gets me and I know I should try to introduce some new spices or something but the truth of the matter is that different cultures have different ideas of what tastes good.  I would love to make spagetti with a real tomatoe sauce and garlic bread and last night when I suggested it, the idea of bread with garlic and butter was utterly unapealing to my mother even though they use garlic for their dishes and eat bread with just butter for breakfast. 

Im really starting to settle in here and its kind of a scary thought.  I mean if I think about it in terms of having really moved here for these next two years and this is my family and this is my neighborhood. Its kind of like another Belfast and Im here to do some community organizing but then when I look around and I hear only Wolof I know its not and there is a lot a lot of figureing out how to make this place my home away from home.

My garden is not doing so great.  The new kids in my compound ripped up my basil while I was away and so I replanted but I have no patience for seedlings to sprout these days plus the school garden has insects in the ground and lizards eating my sprouts and I should put more work into protecting the sprouts but its so hot and I wish I had just one friend here who liked to do this sort of thing with me because carrying water is hard to do alone and I do have some kids who like to help out but they are not a constant.  The summer is a weird time here and I haven't exactly figured out what goes on here and what doesnt.  I wanted to have a kids camp but then all the kids I knew from the school all left for the holidays to stay with other relatives plus I want to make some friends my own age who might like to help out with such a camp. Everything here is just a little bit more difficult to get accomplished when you're the newbi and you dont speak the language and no one really knows you.

Tomarrow my boss is visiting and I look forward to sharring some ideas, Im looking forward to the rains because things will get green but then bugs will come too and then in the fall whan school starts again it might be cold...thats what people are saying anyway.  The birds are beautiful lately and I should take out my water colors and go at it I should, I should and I will garsh darn it.

I miss you all and I will let you know what sorts of things to send once I know what projects I want to do.  For the mean time letters and non melting chocolate and granola bars are great.  Also pretty post cards to hang up and have kids copy for a possible art class I want to have.

love Desneige
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Comments

treefrog17
treefrog17 on

hey there
I do love love love hearing about your travels and experiences sooo much and was especially excited to see the last bout of pictures. Are you ok? How is your health? I hope that you are feeling better. Your comments about feeling the frusteration of being the newbie and not knowing how to begin rang true and clear; I think it is just going to take a little time and one day everything will open up, just like your garden. I would love to see pitures of that!
Wow, two years, but guess what, it's almost a quarter over and look how far you've come. That's amazing. I can't wait to hear more.
News from home: Dad gets married at the end of the summer. I am going home early for the month of August because I fell climbing and fractured my ankle and have been out of work for a month and a half. I am now broke and have to go stay in So. Harpswell for the rest of the summer. Oh darn. Then I come back here in September and resume my commitment to San Fransisco! Miranda and Luke are getting married at the beginning of September. I'm trying to think of more gossip, but I got nothing right now.

I love you so much and am in awe of you as a person. Stay strong and healthy and write more soon.
much love, Sigrid

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