December 22, 2004: Headlines: COS - Senegal: Internet: Blogs - Senegal: Personal Web Site: So it goes in Senegal

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Senegal: Peace Corps Senegal : The Peace Corps in Senegal: December 22, 2004: Headlines: COS - Senegal: Internet: Blogs - Senegal: Personal Web Site: So it goes in Senegal

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Sunday, December 26, 2004 - 12:14 pm: Edit Post

So it goes in Senegal

So it goes in Senegal

So it goes in Senegal

Index, Month 1

Mornings spent picking cotton in the past week and a half: 3

Hours that massive brown clouds of locusts were visible in the skies over my village a few days ago: 2

Snakes I've seen: 2

Snakes that were subsequently beaten to death and then decapitated by villagers: 1

Toddlers who burst into tears when I so much as looked at them in my first week who I can now make laugh and take peanuts from my hand: 2

Average times per night last week that I got out of bed to take the puppy outside to pee: 2

Visits made to a neighboring village to greet people, drink lots of tea, and feel awkward: 2

Incidents of vomiting: 6

Incidents of said vomiting which occured yesterday: 5

Visits to the well-digging contractor in Tamba cancelled due to my village chief's toothache: 2

Times I've wanted to run from my village to the nearest airport, screaming profanities at every kid who yells "Toubab! Toubab! L'argent! Donne-moi un cadeau!" along the way: 0

Times I've wanted to scream profanities at kids who shout "Toubab!": too many to count

Times I've fantasized about hot cinnamon rolls, smoothies, cable television, and wandering the aisles of Whole Foods and then immediately felt guiltily and incorrigibly American for doing so: again, too many to count

Volunteers from my stage still in Senegal, out of the original thirty: 26

Shopping days until Christmas: 3

Miles away that I feel from the American Christmas experience: 1,000,000

Ah, the glamorous life of a Peace Corps Volunteer.

The locusts were surreal—millions upon millions, passing overhead in incredible swarms, brown-red monsters the size of hummingbirds coming down to denude entire trees.

The puppy's name is Bandi Bah. "Bandi" is my village's equivilant of Wolof's "sai-sai," which the dictionary translates as "thug" but also means joker, show-off, rascal, etc. This name amuses the villagers to no end.

Our fourth ET was Mike, who sent out a very well-written email about why he was leaving Peace Corps that I hope to eventually incorporate into a post on my own thoughts about Peace Corps itself and what the hell a bunch of liberal arts majors are doing teaching agriculture to Senegalese farmers. We're all gonna miss you Mike, thanks for your time here :)

And, yes, I'm feeling much better today and am drinking lots of liquids. No, I don't know what caused yesterday's puking; it could have been any number of things. My family was kind enough to bring me to the Tamba regional house for the night, but I'll be headed back this evening before coming back on Friday for a few days of simulated American Christmas.

I hope to have Tamba and village pictures up soon as my last-minute substitute for the Christmas letters I never wrote. Everybody eat lots of good holiday food on my behalf.

When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.
Vote "Yes" on NPCA's bylaw changes Vote "Yes" on NPCA's bylaw changes
Take our new poll. NPCA members begin voting this week on bylaw changes to streamline NPCA's Board of Directors. NPCA Chair Ken Hill, the President's Forum and other RPCVs endorse the changes. Mail in your ballot or vote online (after Dec 1), then see on how RPCVs are voting.
Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying
Congressman Norm Dicks has asked the U.S. attorney in Seattle to consider pursuing charges against Dennis Priven, the man accused of killing Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner on the South Pacific island of Tonga 28 years ago. Background on this story here and here.
Your vote makes a difference Your vote makes a difference
Make a difference on November 2 - Vote. Then take our RPCV exit poll. See how RPCV's are voting and take a look at the RPCV voter demographic. Finally leave a message on why you voted for John Kerry or for George Bush. Previous poll results here.
Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers
The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

Finally read our wrap-up of the eight RPCVs in Senate and House races around the country and where the candidates are in their races.
Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

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