Peace Corps year 1

index, IST

Liters of “lotion” made from soap, oil, and water as an IST training exercise: 2

People who blame said lotion for their arms breaking out in hives: 1

Hours of language training during IST: 0

Fun T-shirts purchased at the Thiès fuuki jaay (Wolof for “shake & sell”: the used clothes market) for a dollar each: 3

Rats seen at Massa Massa, a (relatively) ritzy ex-pat restaurant in Thies: 1

Minimum number of movies watched at the Peace Corps house in Dakar during the 36 hours I was there: 9

Flat tires on the sept-place ride from Dakar to Tamba: 1

The fuuki jaay: where Salvation Army donations go to be born again. Lots of shirts from Old Navy, family reunions, and lame tourist destinations. Lots of junk, the occasional priceless find. (Well, not so much priceless as requiring lots of arguing to get down to 500cfa.)

The rat at Massa Massa: was ginormous. Seriously. Huge. And scurrying about like he owned the place… One of the diners screamed, so the doorman tried to corner it and stomp on it. That didn’t work too well, so he tried to kick it out the front door but missed and kicked it into the door instead. There was a round of applause when he finally got the poor (dead) thing outside.

The ride back to Tamba: was long but not too painful. Our driver didn’t seem to really get the concept of “Hey, maybe I wouldn’t have to slam on the brakes so much if I anticipated the four-inch-deep potholes that are all over the road.”

The past few days in Tamba: gosh, it’s nice to be back. Tamba is sooo calm compared to Thiès or Dakar. Plus, the taxis are cheaper.

I think everyone’s kinda nervous about going back to our sites. Partly because we’ve been away for so long (and around Americans, eating good food, etc.), partly because we’re now supposed to hit the ground running on our official PCV work, partly because, as I believe I’ve mentioned once or twice, it’s about to get hella hot. Like, 120°F hella hot (145°F if you’re out in Bakel). First dry and hot, then come June or so wet and hot. Right now it’s just muggy—much warmer than Thiès, with some weird out-of-season rain today.

Some of my village family stopped by the Tamba house yesterday to say hi and let me know that Aminata’s wedding is next Tuesday; she’s my 17-year-old sister/cousin/whatever, who’ll be marrying her cousin, who lives one compound over in the village. I’m excited to see the ceremony—apparently it’s a multi-day affair. It also means that the new batiment is finished (or at least habitable), since that’s where the wedding guests will be staying.

I’ll be happy to be back—see if my hut’s still standing, sit around with the family at night under the stars—and since Cory and I made a planning calendar that covers every day until Close-of-Service in November 2006, I feel like I’m ready to tackle the job of staying busy.

4 replies on “index, IST”

I really feel for you on the heat, but it does NOT get THAT hot. I just looked and the record high temp for Africa (also the world) was in Libya in 1922 at 136 F. And it looks like the highest ever recorded in Tamba is 109F, with an average high in the hottest month, April, of 103. Data here:

So you get sympathy for the heat, yes, but humans simply cannot live at 120F, much less 145F.

Comments are closed.