(Supplementing last week’s post…)
To prove that, yes, every Peace Corps experience is unique:
Minimum number of Small Enterprise Development (SED, i.e. business) PCVs known to have DSL internet at his/her apartment: 1
To elaborate on the joys of having a puppy in the village:
Number of severed goat legs Bandi found post-slaughter and brought into my hut to munch on: 4
… And I forgot to explain the three possible village conversations:
1) The weather.
“Senegal’s not cold! America’s cold! Senegal’s hot!”
“Oh, but it’s cold!” (while hugging self and pretend-shivering)
“Ha! No, right now Senegal is a little cold, but America is very cold.”
Variation: Senegal = America
“Oh, it’s cold! Today, I think Senegal is cold like America.”
“Ha! No, right now Senegal is a little cold, but America is very, very cold.”
2) Last names.
“Bah? Bah is bad!”
“Ha! No, Jallo is bad!”
“No, no, Bah is bad; Jallo is good.”
“No, no, Jallo is bad; Bah is good.”
“Ha ha ha!”
3) Statements of the obvious. The possibilities are endless:
“You’re going to the well!”
“You came back from the well!” (Bonus: “You got water!”)
“You slept?” / “Yes, I slept.”
“You woke up?” / “Yes, I woke up. Peace only.”
However, these three possible conversations can only occur once the greeting cycle has run its course. Here’s a game for everyone who wants a taste of saying “hello” in the village. I think of these as “gerbil greetings”:
Pretend that you and everyone in your village are moving around in person-sized gerbil balls—you know, like the plastic ones you’d stick your pet hamster in to give him the excitement of repeatedly running into walls. Every time your gerbil ball bumps into someone else’s gerbil ball after an interval of ten minutes or more, greet them. Make sure to use the sequence of greetings appropriate for the time of day and whether or not you or they may or may not have just arrived or returned from somewhere else.
Mmm, village life. Though I will miss it while I’m in Thies for three weeks of In-Service Training (IST).
Ok, parts of it at least. I really like my family, and I feel like I’ll be able to get to know the rest of the village, too, with time. Also, it’s been easy to find a daily routine, and as long as I can keep pushing that routine away from boring towards comfortable, I feel like I’m establishing a good base for actually being useful.
That’s the idea, at least. We’ll be learning more about how to actually be useful during IST, which sounds like it’ll be mostly technical training since budget cuts = no language trainers. Honestly, all us Tamba kids are thinking about right now is how great dinner will be tomorrow night at our favorite ex-pat restaurant. Mmm, lasagna.
(new photos… woot!)