Peace Corps year 1


This past weekend was spent in Dakar at W.A.I.S.T. (the West African Invitational Softball Tournament), where teams of ex-pats and PCVs from Senegal and surrounding countries converged for softball games, eating hotdogs, and not sleeping much. It was all sorts of a good time—I got back to Thiès with 100 cfa in my pocket.

About W.A.I.S.T.: if you’ve heard of it, you’ve heard stories about it.

They’re pretty much all true.

… Except about the bonfire being the best event—there were no American snacks and the beer was gone by midnight.

But other than that: yes, the “social league” is better at drinking on the field than playing softball; yes, you’ll see more PCVs in two days than you’ll see otherwise in two years; and, yes, the Marine party was lame.

I inadvertently played an inning on Saturday when our “real” team hadn’t shown up by game time—I stood in the outfield and hoped the ball wouldn’t come my way. Thankfully it didn’t; then the rest of the players showed up, there were a few on-field wrestling matches, and the game finally ended when the Mauritanian PCVs couldn’t score any more points because our score was so low. The only game we won was against the Benin PCVs, who actually managed to be worse than we were.

An album of judiciously edited pictures will eventually go up.

IST ends Saturday, and then we all head back to our sites to experience our first ungodly-hot hot season.

2 replies on “W.A.I.S.T.ed”

Hi Clare —

I’m a friend of your mom and dad. You may remember me from the O-30 coed soccer teams that we played on — plus I lived around the block from you on Aberdeen. I’ve currently got a software contract at the Department of Labor, and a recent (30-minute-ago) conversation with your dad here resulted in him giving me your blog address.

Taking a look through your written experiences, I see you’re having a lively time. Amazing what a little travel does for one’s life view, isn’t it? Paul tells me you’re assisting with agricultural pursuits — that has to be quite a change of pace for you. I hope you enjoy your stay there, and that you’re able to realize your goals as a Peace Corps Volunteer.


John – Yeah, subsistence farming is definitely unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before… it’s going to be interesting once work actually starts up in June, when the rainy season arrives. I just have to pretend that having a liberal arts/film degree and a few months of training makes me qualified to tell farmers how to grow corn 😉

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