My very last hot season...and Mango season...

Trip Start Mar 11, 2007
Trip End May 2009

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Flag of Senegal  ,
Saturday, June 14, 2008

OK fourteen months down and ten to go.  I'm  not really counting down the days but when its this hot you wish you were anywhere else but here.  The good news is that it is the last hot season that I will have to endure and so each day comes and goes with pleasure, although right now due to a bad batch of Fatayas(something a kin to fried fish dumplings) I now have the worse case of intestinal ailment I have ever had in country and it is not so fact I realized half way through the day yesterday that it was Friday the 13th.  Now I'm usually not a superstitious person but...yesterday not only was I sick and hot and sweaty but also the power went off so I had no fan, my radio decided to die, I had no credit on my phone and a little mouse ate all my favorite cereal, we had our first sand  storm of the season and I was so sick that I could not get out of bed to shut the windows and so my room was covered in sand...but then it rained....and that was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard, the wonderful pitter patter on the tin roof, I smiled in spite of the bad luck the day brought for rain my friends means more rain to come.
So it has been a while since my last entry. Lots has happened. Like we got new volunteers in the area and I love them all.  One of them has a sister that I went to college with, another is from northern Maine and knows Canada well, and the other, well he is just a hoot.  All are extremely motivated and we already of tons of ideas we want to do together so I think this year will really fly.  I have also decided that I want to work outside of my village this year and I want to work with some of the governmental groups in the area to create some fun school programs on trees and small gardens, and also to incorporate world days like Earth Day and International Women's Day in to the curriculum.  I had two days of utter depression thinking about what exactly I had accomplished this past year and after the kids at the school, while unsupervised forgot to close the garden door letting the free range donkeys eat everything, it was bad enought that the goats had already gotten in via the same forgettfulness but at least they didn't eat the trees and the basil...but the donkeys ate everything!...And so it felt like nothing had been accomplished, but really there has been a lot but I just let all my frustrations get the better of me and it cloudes over the accomplishments, I know my mother would say right now that is just how I am but, gosh its hard here.  You second guess yourself all the time because, well you operated one way in the states...and here well you can't operate that way, you just can't, you might as well just go home, and believe me I have thought about it, oh to move to Portland Maine and feel the nice cool sea breeze and gentle sun on my cheek, to taste a snowflake, hug a close friend....pick apples, sweat from a run and not from just sitting....but then I think about how lucky I am to have been given that life of coolness and here so many live and survive in this heat and dust, and they still find time to laugh and dance and make lots of food for marriages and baptisms.  I know there will be so much that I will miss.
Earth Day was a success, a headache, but a success.  Not sure I want to plan another one.  I did a lot of the work by myself.  I did have one teacher and a community member help out with the theater and music aspect of the Earth Day and I was beside myself with happiness even thought they only got it together two days before the performance.  Then Perry came and all was oh so wonderful.  I cried just waiting for him at the airport every person that turned the corner could have been him and the tears just poured.
Then he got there and I had this nice little theatrical planned where we went over to the taxis and I had to haggle for a good price to take us to where we would be staying....Perry fit right in.  Really.  He was a perfect visitor and he got a good idea of what my life is like here.  The right amount of site seeing with other volunteers, the feel of the heat, the frustrations of my school, the fun of planting trees, some surfing and I made him treat me to lots of good food, mainly ice cream and Lebanese pizza in Dakar. We had our fair share of set backs, mainly my skin infection, lose of his debit card, my cell phone died while we were in the Gambia on some strange island...but he didn't get sick once and all my peace corps buds loved him and he asked a lot of good questions and played with all the kids and learned wolof, well sort of...I was kind of mean teacher and made him fend for his self a lot....but really, what an amazing visit.  My little brother.  We had a lot to catch up with....a month wasn't even enough.  I cried again in the taxi to the airport and yelled at the guard for not letting me go in a wait with him, I then went back to the Peace Corps transit house and talked into the wee hours of the night with a good friend, we made chicken soup and dipped bread and talked of boyfriends and after Peace Corps plans.  That made me feel a little better after losing Perry.
This is my last hot season.  I can't believe it, part of me is sooo happy about this thought, but beneath it all I realize that it is also my last time to get to sleep out on the roof and look at the stars without the obstruction of a mosquito net, I will never eat such sweet delicious mangoes again.  Oh and the other day I got to see vultures feeding on a was so cool, such big birds with snake-like pink necks....reminded me of wolfs in Alaska feeding on a dead caribou...oh oh oh where to go from here...Enjoy the fabulous Maine summer for those of you in Maine and for the rest where ever you may be, you too have a happy day.
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