Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lariam Dreams...

I haven't had any Mefloquine-influenced dreams yet, but that was what I wanted to call this blog. I reconsidered after seeing that the domain name was taken, and also figuring that it's better to not tempt fate.

In any case, my life in Senegal (both days of it) have been surprisingly pleasant. There are 48 other trainees in my group, we landed in Dakar yesterday at dawn, wedged ourselves into a couple mini-buses and drove off to start Pre-Service Training. As the sun came up we looked out the windows at the sprawl of Dakar and the multitude of crumbling, half-built apartments on the outskirts of town, and then I half-slept through the rest of the drive. The Peace Corps Training Center in Thiès ("tchess") has everything a trainee could want, except for hot showers, but I'd take semi-reliable wifi over hot showers any day. We dropped our bags, had some food and some rest time, and jumped right into orientation and placement interviews. We also had individual medical sessions, where we were vaccinated for typhoid and meningitis, put on anti-malaria pills (I am now taking Mefloquine, the generic for Lariam), and given first aid kits and a stockpile of handy antibiotics and whatnot. My roommate and I decided to stay up until 21h00 (9:00pm) and we passed the time by writing in our journals and complaining about how exhausted we were and then promptly conked out at 21h03.

Today we had a guided tour of the area immediately surrounding the training compound, listened to another introductory presentation, had our French language assessments, and ate spiced rice, chicken and chopped peppers for lunch, which was delicious. Then we did our prep reading for our culture and etiquette session tomorrow, realized that we'd behaved fairly disgustingly at lunch (drinking with our left hands, sitting like heathens, making inappropriate small talk) and were extra glad that we have this week of heavily supervised compound-based preparation before meeting our first host families next week.

I'm going to try to get a "day-in-the-life" style photo album or video up this weekend, and after next Tuesday I won't have daily internet access for awhile, but I'll update when I can. Jërëjëf, ba beneen!

1 comment:

  1. Hey LaRocha,

    Great blog -- the kids and I would love to see some pics and videos when you have a chance. Glad to hear you're there and doing well. The food sounds yummy!

    Miss ya!


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