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Archive for October, 2004

ramadan, and other reasons to live in africa

Posted by clare on October 31st, 2004

We’re currently smack in the middle of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and prayer and excuses to turn up the volume on the mosque speakers. Muslims (90-95% of the population in Senegal) fast from sunrise to sunset; people are maybe a bit crankier than usual, and there are lots more street vendors selling […]

training, the anti-service

Posted by clare on October 24th, 2004

Pre-Service Training is most useful, I have decided, in that it gives us an idea of the exact opposite of what Peace Corps service itself will be like. PST? Over-structured, hectic… Peace Corps service? A far-off, gleaming beacon of relaxation, free time, and not having to go to class every time we hear a tam-tam. […]

gallery update

Posted by clare on October 23rd, 2004

I finally made it to a computer and have been furiously uploading photos and movies (!) for the past few hours. I’m also working on an uber-update, scheduled for completion tomorrow. Until then—I dunno, read some captions, leave some comments… enjoy! (My life at the moment: Pulaar verbs.)

pulaar is fubared

Posted by clare on October 9th, 2004

I’m not learning Pulaar like I know I should—my French has blossomed, but in doing so it has sucked away moisture that should be nurturing my little shriveled pula-fuuta sprout. In my defense, Pulaar is nuts—there’s a different verb for every single possible activity a person could engage in at any distinct time of the […]

arrival and departure

Posted by clare on October 6th, 2004

Two things from yesterday: Our first ET (Early Termination): Andrea, who’s leaving us for an NGO job in Romania. Best of luck to her. Our first locust swarms: Around 5pm yesterday, the first waves of locusts passed over Thi├Ęs. It was an apocalyptic sight just begging for mixed metaphors: flotillas, clouds, sky-darkening mobs of doom […]

a day in the life: training

Posted by clare on October 2nd, 2004

4:40am – The first morning call-to-prayer starts over the mosque loudspeakers, which sound very much like they’re three feet from my bedroom window: lots of chanting and yelling, which repeats every half hour or so until sunrise. 6:00am – My alarm goes off, usually coinciding with another round of chanting from the mosque. I stumble […]