Freshly detached wheels my sept-place had to swerve around on the road to Dakar while following a small bus: 1
Fingers our Dakar-to-Tamba sept-place driver had on each hand: 6
Rumored cost of boat passage from Senegal to the Canary Islands, in CFA: 600,000
Approximate equivalent in dollars: 1,200
Holes I dug for transplanting trees: 97
Meters of rope bought for pulling water at the new well: 160
Fine set by the village chief for placing a bucket on the edge of the well (where it might fall in), in American cents: 40
Square meters of my bean field I weeded by hand during four hours spread over three days: 270
Square meters left to weed: 585
Times Kumba Bah has given birth: 11
Auto travel in Senegal… The good news is, so far everyone I know has had a 100% success rate in not being squished in any number of potential head-on, side, rear, or livestock-related collisions. The bad news: there’s always next time.
The live fence is planted, protected by the garden’s dead fence, which encloses 225 square meters of prime vegetable growing space, which can be watered using the water basin, which is connected to the new well, where water is pulled with four brand new sets of pulleys, ropes, and buckets. It’s nice to see it completed after all this time, ready for the next volunteer to assist with gardening.
Out in the fields hacking away at grass, I feel like Derek Zoolander in his miner’s outfit: a farce. Village farming requires a level of sweat that I can barely even begin to comprehend—the nine-year-olds do more fieldwork in a week than I’ll have done in my entire two years.
It’s a difference in magnitude kinda like how Kumba has had more kids than… well, than I ever plan to.
My group’s Close of Service conference is week after next—once I get back, I’ll have just a little over a month in the village before I pack up and head to Dakar on my way back to the States. Good news: soon I’ll be an RPCV. Bad news: I’ve reached the care package cut-off point, where packages (and letters, too, soon enough) sent now might not reach me before I leave Tamba 😉
Right now, I’m excited to finish up projects and then go home.