Saturday, January 19, 2008

The wind blows where the well dwellers dwell...

To my dismay the weather is gradually starting to get warmer and the time when I could go an entire day without sweating has past and I fear will not return till next year. The evenings are still pretty cool however and I am still sleeping inside. This particular time of year is marked by very strong winds and frequent sand storms, which makes walking to the road a bit more teacherous. The other day Big J and I walked to the road and could not open our mouths for fear of getting a mouthful of sand. We both looked like sand yettis by the time we reached our destination.

I'd like to thank my brother, his wife, and their church for donating many books to the local middle school. I took the books to the English teacher on thursday and he was ecstatic! All the other teachers huddled around looking at all the books and magazines in amazement. The teacher said that those types of books (ones with pictures) were perfect for his students and I thought the Dr. Suess ones would be great for beginners. He could not have been more happy. He said that it was really hard for teachers and schools in Senegal to get resources like books. We spent the day at the teacher's house and helped him do English recordings for his class. Some Senegalese English class is going to be listening to my voice talking about clay pots...very slowly. ;) Im practically famous.

The other day Jane and another PCV did a maternelle health talk in Janes village. It was really neat and I think the women really enjoyed it. We talked about what were common symptoms in pregnancy and what was not normal; things you should go to the health post for. It was sort of frustrating trying to keep everyone quiet, though. There were kids running around shouting and the women were all chatting but I think we got some points across. I was having a blast playing with all the kids and babies. I was peed on more than once, but later that night I was told by Jane's host mother that if a baby pees on you its a sign that you'll have good fertility. Jane's mother is full of little peices of knowledge. She also told Jane that her boyfriend was no good because he didnt have any money. According to her: if a man gets to kiss you and canoodle you, he should pay for everything. Amen sister.

Now, a new segment coming to Ashley's blog:

"This week at the watering hole!"
Going to the well is always full of surprises. Will it take 20 minutes to fill my bucket or 2 hours? One never knows! The other day I came to the well and sat down, waiting my turn to pull when I noticed that no one was pulling any water and it was unusually quiet. Usually you hear the noise of the pulleys and people shouting and water is flying everywhere. Well it turns that something was awry down in the well and they lowered a man into it to investigate the problem (30 meters). After about 15 minutes they all started pulling and this man rose gloriously from the depths and I guess everything was fixed because they started pulling water again. It makes me feel good to know that Im bathing in and drinking man-diving well water. Mmmmm.

A fun pastime of the women at the well is to fill my bucket up really high, put it on my head and laugh hysterically when I spill water all over myself trying to get it home. Oh what will these crazy villagers do next!? Find out next week on " this week at the watering hole!"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Atoru came back!

Village person: Atoru! You came back!
Me: yep! How are you?
Village person: Fine. How was Germany?
Me: America, actually.
Village person: Whatever. How are your parents and your family?
Me: They are in good health.
Village person: What did you bring me from Germany?
Me: ummm, nothing.
~look of utter dissapointment~

Yes this was my happy return to my village. Everyone and everything was pretty much the same and they were happy to see all the pictures I had taken of them and had developed in Germany.

Unfortunately the village water pump is broken and according to what was explained to me, the pump is broken and the village does not have enough money to buy another one. So I now have got to go to the well, which if you have read earlier blogs you will know is the bain of my existence. I cannot complain too much, however, because many volunteers have only wells and have dealt with the strife for their entire service.

But still... woe is me.

Monday, January 7, 2008

My triumphant return

Well, I did it! I successfully managed to ENDURE three whole weeks of American living. It was difficult, let me tell you! Everyone was constantly trying to get me to eat; offering me various sorts of Christmas goodies, taking me out to dinner every night. My parents were even nice enough to let me use their shower (and hot water) EVERY DAY, as well as the use of my former bedroom! Boy, are they great!

I know what you're thinking: that after spending three whole weeks in America I could not WAIT to get back to the comforts of my Senegalese village. You are RIGHT! I am fired up to get back to my bucket baths and scorpion pals. :)

I'm actually in Dakar right now adjusting a bit before heading up North tomorrow. I really do look forward to getting back and taking a little break from running around and jumping continents. There are several volunteers in Dakar right now for various reasons and I am so happy to be able to hang out with them for a short while. My break was amazing but now its time to get back to my reality.

Thank you to everyone who made my trip home SO great!