Longest continuous Uno play in village, in hours: 5.5
Kilometers biked in Kedougou: 150
New volunteers in the Tamba region: 7
New male to female ratio in Tamba region: 5:16
New PCVs’ heads I shaved: 1
Rain clouds that passed directly over my backyard: 1
Tree sacks filled and seeded: 275
The Uno games have gone from post-lunch to pre-lunch to post-breakfast. The cards are bent and filthy and impossible to shuffle—little kids are always running off with a handful—but that’s because they’re so well loved. Kinda like the velveteen rabbit… except that these don’t have much hope of turning back into real cards.
I made my first trip down to Kedougou, in the far south-eastern corner of Senegal, to bike out to a Bassari initiation fête with a few other volunteers. The biking was insane—uphill, through gravel, and into the wind the entire way, I swear—but definitely added to the adventure. The fête itself was really cool (I’ll write a full description in an upcoming post), the landscape was gorgeous, and on our way back we stopped off to swim at a waterfall. It was hard to believe I was still in Senegal.
We gave the Tamba house its bi-annual cleaning a few weeks ago in preparation for the new group of volunteers who swore-in mid-May and were just installed at their sites. It’s weird to realize that my group is now at the point that those old, wise PCVs with six months left were when we were new. I finally believe that these remaining months will “fly by” like everyone’s been saying they do.
The new Clare in Tamba, Clare S., decided that—since you only do Peace Corps once and hair grows back—she wanted to liberate her head from its mass of long, curly, beautiful red hair. Gazelle and I were glad to help. She’s still speaking to me, so I think it was all for the best.
The rainy season is on its way—right before I left Tamba to come to Dakar, we got our first all-night deluge after a few nights of wind and scattered sprinkles. I could tell the weather was changing—some people have achy knees that predict storms, I get a rash in my cleavage when the humidity kicks in.
The pepiniere is doing well so far, though there have been some issues among the women’s groupement as to who’s going to be doing the watering when… What I’m more worried about right now is the men making a deadwood fence for the so far nonexistent village garden (where some of the trees will theoretically be planted to form an interior live fence) before the rainy season field work takes over.