Sunday, December 25, 2011


Its my favorite holiday! This marks my third Christmas ever away from home, and while I am pretty much ready to get back to the states in a few months, its been a nice vacation here! Even now, at the Peace Corps office in Dakar, Im looking out the window at palm trees waving around in the sunshine, with the Atlantic spanning endless blue in the background...and I can hear Christmas carols wafting up from the Christian center next door. Last night, a few other volunteers came to the office where Im staying (nice air conditioned rooms and TV) and I cooked up a bunch of french onion soup with plenty of Gruyere cheese on top. I also made scones, and we drank champagne while watching the extended Lord of the Rings movies : )

After the second movie, we got dressed up and set off in a cab to downtown Dakar, where there is a massive cathedral. Fireworks were being set off all night throughout the entire city, which tends to happen on every holiday. There was a mass at 10pm in French, which was an interesting and moving experience. The Senegalese drums were, of course, broken out at one point during a carol. After two and a half hours of mass, we decided to head out early. We were some of the last non-senegalese people left. I have no idea how long the mass went on for, but all ceremonies here tend to go on FOREVER.

Anyways, today we're watching Christmas movies, eating a Bouche de Noel, and having peppermint hot chocolate. I have a box of gifts from home, including Cheez-its, which are almost gone already : D Plus the Game of Thrones books which is all I plan on doing for the next week or so.

Im really excited for the new year. I will have officially completed one full year living in Africa, and will go into 2012 knowing I get to come home as an RPCV! This has been an amazing year, and an amazing experience overall (and will continue to be probably). I have no idea where the next year will take me. Im hoping grad school, but who knows? Fingers crossed. Since I probably wont be posting again before New Years, Ill put up my resolutions here. Merry Christmas everyone! I'll be calling America soon. Happy New Year as well, and if you are reading this, I hope to see you in 2012!!


1. Get home in one piece.
2. Get my cat home in one piece.
3. Get into grad school or find an exciting job.
4. Set up two new sites here in Senegal.
5. Bake a LOT of good food once Im back in America.

Should be do-able : ) Back to the Christmas movies!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Drunk Baby is Powered by Cheese.

In Senegal, this hot and dry land of infinite frustration, PC volunteers are sometimes driven to rely on the small things for emotional relief. For example, I brought my cat into Mbour today to be fixed, and couldnt get them to start the surgery until I had been hit on relentlessly by the 4 male employees. Infinite Frustration. At times like that..I miss America. But, luckily, a lot of other things make up for it.

My younger mom had a baby last week, and they named it Buree. I didnt even know that was a name. In French, Buree is one way of saying Drunk. They call it Baby Buree. Drunk Baby. I came into the city and when I left, my family asked for a gift of baby clothes (they always ask for something or other, with about a 25 percent success rate) and I hadnt really planed on getting anything. Until I saw a baby shirt emblazoned with the phrase "Powered By Cheese." I would have bought that at any cost. So, watching the baby buree being carted around in a powered by cheese t shirt should provide some comic relief over the next few months : )

When I told my Senegalese family I was taking my cat in to get an operation, my older mom completely lost it. I havent heard her laugh that loudly and uncontrollably since the great "toubab tries to do laundry by hand" incident of 2010. People in Senegal dont get operations unless theyre deathly ill. So...the fact that I was getting an unessecary operation for my CAT was totally incomprehensible.

Oh well. Time to go get the cat and hope he survived, and hope I dont have to get hit on AGAIN. Also, my dad filled out a customs form for a care package valuing the contents at 25 dollars. So when the post office charged me an extra 2500 cfa for the package, which is ridiculous, I asked why, and they pointed at the customs form. Logic there? Zero. I still had to pay for it. This country, sometimes...