Ngiuth: My new Home for the next two Years

Trip Start Mar 11, 2007
Trip End May 2009

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Flag of Senegal  ,
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hello Everyone!

So here I am in Nguith with my new family.  I am lucky to have Internet connection in my own home although if its too hot like it was yesterday the computer stays off...I think it was like 110F yesterday and I've been eating so many mangoes that yes my sweat kind of smells sweet too, its a bit weird and kind of awesome too.  Anyhow i must say I was a bit disappointed when I got here because my family is so use to having a volunteer that its been hard getting to know them and them me.  Hover I've discovered that the key to integration is Dancing and knowing how to joke around in any language you can get out and  in my case its bits of French and Wolof and a whole lot of sign and body language and it makes for a lot of good laughs.

Yesterday I tried to get my laundry done before it got super hot.  I had my two buckets and bar of soap and I was laughed at the whole time I've never missed a washing machine more in my whole life!  It makes up I guess for not getting to pull water from a well and carry it on my head.  Its been an interesting realization that one can really only romanticize living without electricity and running water when one has had those luxuries for most of your life. I contemplated not getting my electricity turned on but its was pointed out that it might offend my family.  I'll just practice energy saving techniques.

The Wolof is coming painfully slow. I haven't had any awakening moments where I can understand whole sentences but I can speak OK and get my points across and for now that what I'm focusing on these next three months.

I did however meet the Environmental Club today and we cleaned up the garden a bit and are planning a rainy season garden there.  I helped out at a big field the other day putting up fencing and ate little fruits called Sump,  they tasted terrible but were surprisingly satisfying or perhaps it was the fun I had getting them down from the trees with he little boys I was with.  I was asked to help but then told to sit for most of the time.  Finally I flexed my muscles saying "Am naa loxo (I have arms)"  I say this line often in fact because my family wants to treat me special or something and wont have me help, but also in those rare circumstances when I am helping like with rinsing the dishes and its us girls working hard and the guys just sitting around doing nothing I'll say "Am nga loxo; kai tambilli" and they say no its womens work.  I laugh and make fun of them.

So today is hot once again surprise surprise and I'm sucking on a plastic bag filled with cold bissap juice kind of like cranberry juice but with a ton of sugar.  Last night was my first night being really sick and so today I'm taking it easy making sure my water is thoroughly clean.  Also last night before getting sick I got some pretty henna put on my hands so in the morning while clinging to my porcelain Turkish squat toilet, at least I had pretty know I didn't think I'd miss nail polish but I kind of do and I really like this henna thing now.

I miss you all and again really appreciate your e-mails, letters and care packages; new things that would be good to send if the  thought thrills you: batteries(AA and AAA), deodorant, tennis balls and matches are great small items to send.  Also I want to start a girls group because they are really creative with doll and bracelet making.  Also the kinds love pens here and candy.

Oh boy do I miss home on days like this when its hot and I don't have a pool or lake to jump into or a nice cool breeze to kiss my face.  Oh also if people want to come visit I'd like to do a mini Eco tourist/ cultural exchange with you where you'll stay in the village and eat with me and my family and then you also get to give a mini talk on what you do in the US with the kids and then there will be lots of dancing too!  So come visit!

love Desneige a.k.a. Diarra Koundoul
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