Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Birds, Trash, and Peanut butter
I am officially in Senegal at the training center in Thies (pronounced like Chess). I am sitting on my pretty comfortable bed with a mosquito net (yes it’s mid-day and yes I am still a hyprochondriac) listening to the birds sing and appreciating the flowers that surround my African style dorm room. It all seems like a dream for I am very much in a state of exhaustion and am slipping between two worlds of reality.
The last few days have been a whirlwind and an emotional rollercoaster. My last night in the states, spent in DC, was quite fun. I treated myself to a gorgeous meal and enjoyed the fellow companionship of my fellow volunteers. It was also a very emotional night as I finally realized that I would be cutting my blackberry umbilical cord. Saying a final goodbye was quite difficult as it symbolized not only a new beginning but also an end to a very amazing chapter in my life. I still have some anxieties about the unknown, like getting sick or bitten by a black mama, but as the days go on they seem to slowly dissipate.
Now here I am in a mosquito net reflecting on my first day in Senegal. (By the way we are 8 hours ahead) The flight was good and I spent most of my time improving my chess and poker skills. I have to say this poker thing seems to work for me. I also enjoyed some amazing conversations with my fellow volunteers. If I know anything for sure, it is that we have a wonderful group of 42 people. I am really looking forward to building awesome relationships.
The two hour bus ride to the training sight was fascinating. New smells, sounds, and sights captivated me as I tried to embrace my new home for the next two years. I can’t express how cool the birds are. They are the most beautiful things I have ever seen and they are (no kidding) EVERYWHERE! I also got to see the most beautiful trees. They look like Fern Gully trees. It’s actual name is the Baobab tree and they are massive. It was nice watching the sun rise behind such an incredible plant. If you want to read more about them, check out this site. It is very interesting! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adansonia
I was also shocked at all the trash. And you think it’s bad in the States! It seems like the landscape is a mass waste site. There are plastic bags everywhere and piles of them exist for miles and miles. I don’t want to portray Senegal as covered in trash, but it was an interesting thing to observe,
So when we finally got to the site (2 hours later; and the roads were actually pretty awesome) we were greeted by our Senegalese staff. They were dancing and singing! It was really cool. Then they told us we get to eat! I was so excited and even more thrilled when they mentioned peanut butter. Well my friends, I have to say the peanut butter is nothing like the states. I can’t explain what it tastes like, but lets just say I’ll probably be asking you to send me some J
Well my friends, I am exhausted!!! I need to take a nap so I will leave you with this “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”