Tonight’s the last night of internet for 2 weeks! I’m currently trying to upload my photos so you’ll be able to see them on the side left section… I’m sorry I haven’t taken that many, but you have to ask people (usually) before you take a photo and they often as for money.
Today was another full day of sessions, I learned how to give myself a malaria blood smear test, about l-ealth (lady-health as compared to m-ealth man-health), about marketing in Senegal, and about the IT programs the Peace Corps has set up. Most importantly, I learned that I’m getting a phone tomorrow! And I technically don’t have to pay for it (they’re taking the cost out of my “settlement stipend” aka the money they give you when you go to site to get furniture etc). I won’t have free calling/texting to PCVs yet, but I’ll have a phone! I’m not sure what the deal is on incoming calls, but some of the PCVs told me that it’s free for them to get calls or texts from the US.
Aside from the sessions, I also went to the market today to stock up before another trip out to the sticks. I got 5 meters of cloth (if you can see the photos, the blue is for a shirt or pants and I’m having a Western dress made out of the other one). I still haven’t figured out what I’m wearing for Swearing In… so keep posted. I also bought chips and sunflower seeds (for protein) at the toubab store to smuggle into my room and eat without anyone seeing (EVERYTHING is communal). I’ve gotten pretty good at working my way through the market in Thies and talking with vendors about prices (occasionally arguing them down). I think, once I have my phone, I’ll be totally ready (physically) for my llooonnnnnggg trip to the village. Once I get back, however, I’ll know my site!
Dinner tonight was a wonderful send-off meal: meat and mashed potatoes! I pretty much made myself sick on potatoes, but it’s a good kind of sick! I also ate with a few current volunteers and was able to talk to them about their sites. The idea seems to be that for us SED kids, we’ll be as busy as we want to be (which makes me really happy… the less time spent sitting under a tree not talking, the better). I also talked to them a little bit about night noises. I currently live with a rooster, a car that leaves early, as well as some neighborhood dogs that fight in the night. It seems like for the most part those noises don’t change even when you’re in the city. There are also other additions including, goats, donkey’s, mosque’s, and just about any other city or village noise. The PCVs, though, all said they now sleep through them and I’m hoping that happens for me sooner than later.
While I’m not looking forward to MORE time under the mango tree, I know these next 14 nights bring me 2 weeks closer to Swearing In. Also, after this trip, I have one 10 day trip and two 2 day trips to the village then I, hopefully, never have to go there again. Maybe it’ll be better this time but I’m not a small town girl and so a “village” of about 200 people (mostly living within 10 compounds) isn’t really the best place for me. Hopefully, all will work with the phones and I’ll be able to at least text some of my friends.
Finally, I just want to really quickly thank RW for all of the stuff she sent me before which has come SO much in handy… especially when I lost my soap. Best to all, and I’ll be back in 14 nights (Sept. 9th).