Dip-N-Dots– When you eat the same thing every day for every meal you start to crave foods. Recently, I have been craving all sorts of foods like chocolate or tacos. The one thing I have had the most frequent cravings for is Dip-N-Dots. Those little balls of ice cream—so cold, so sweet. I assume…I have never actually eaten Dip-N-Dots. We always want what we can’t have and, I guess, in this case, what we have never had.
Discouragement– There is so much discouragement lingering in every part of Peace Corps. I have found myself discouraged more often than not with my work and my bosses and everything. For months, I trying to get people excited about learning new agricultural techniques and have been having very little luck. I have been trying to get projects moving forward and have been met with nothing but resistance. I get discouraged. I rant about it. I move on. I try again.
Donkey– Donkeys are the worst animals alive. I have an unreasonable amount of disdain for every donkey in Senegal. Sure they can pull a cart for you but at what cost? They chat back and forth with each other as if their first-born had just died. Wailing through the day and night about what? How good the hay is that day? They are drama queens. My family’s donkey gave birth recently. At 3am. Right outside my window. A donkey giving birth is approximately 10 times worse than a donkey just living their life. Now we have three donkeys. Three drama queens wailing about hay all day. I hate donkeys.
Dragged– My host sister is very mean and very cute. She is around the age of 7 and has a knack for picking out people’s insecurities. I got dragged by my sister a few days ago. After brushing the thousands of dreads out of my hair, she walked up to me and told me I needed to buy a new hair-do. Then she smiled really cute and skipped away and all I could do was wonder why my brain—instead of saying, “damn, bitch!”—said something more like, “aaaaaww. Isn’t she cute?”
Drugs– My host mom asked me if people in America do a lot of drugs. I told her that I don’t do drugs. I just plant trees. I think she might suspect I’m planting something other than guava.
African proverb– There is an African proverb that says, “A good soup attracts chairs”. This was clearly not a Senegalese proverb as I have seen neither soup nor chairs in a very long time. I think the sentiment still applies.
Ass– Today I met a man named Ass who was kind of an ass.
Bad– You can be really bad at something, but because kids can’t do that thing at all, or maybe they never even saw someone else do that thing, they think you are really good at it. For me that thing is drawing bubble letters. The kids go wild.
“The fire dancers that came through town were cool but look at what this white girl can do with a pen!” –the kids in my village
Caffeine– All of Senegal is on constant caffeine high. They throw back glasses of green tea that’s half caffeine and half sugar three times daily. I think they have had so much that it doesn’t even affect them. I don’t drink caffeine but had a glass one day and ran around like a gerbil on a high dose of Adderall for an hour before passing out under a mango tree.
Children– Children have a huge amount of enthusiasm for the ordinary. They are euphoric because they see the moon during the day or find a ripe mango. This is cute until you realize you live in a mango orchard and the kids are screaming about mangoes like it’s their full-time job.
Chinese– Senegal is a huge vacation spot for French tourist, especially along the coast, where I live. It is very peculiar then, that when I go to the cities I am constantly called Chinese. Children and adults alike will shout, “CHINOIS! CHINOIS!” as I walk by and then, only after I don’t respond, will they try out “TOUBAB EH!”
Coincidence– I met another volunteer in Senegal that went to my high school. My car broke down and I had to hitchhike but got picked up by two Americans who were going to the same place. I met a girl who lived on the island of Guam the year I was born on the island of Saipan right next to Guam. I met a man from Gabon on the bus in Dakar who was working with farmers in the village next to me and offered to help with my work.
Commas– I both over-use and under-use commas. If you hang on long enough, my blog will start to read like a story and not just line upon line of comma-infested sentences. Thanks for reading guys!