Sunday, June 3, 2012

South by Southeast by Southwest

From St Louis I headed down to the Peer Support Network (PSN) meeting in Thiès, at the Training Center. Peace Corps/Senegal’s PSN is still relatively new, so we went over by-laws, brushed up on listening skills with  mock phone calls, and discussed issues that have come up over the last few months. We also spent sessions discussing how to best handle PCVs who are dealing with domestic violence problems in their communities and host families and how to talking with Volunteers considering early termination (ET). It was a good meeting (even though my stomach was completely off the whole time) and I liked learning more about Peace Corps resources and hearing ideas from other PCVs on how to talk about and cope with stressors and difficult situations that crop up throughout a Volunteer’s service.
Senegal's PSN 2012
After the PSN meeting it was back to Dakar to catch transport back to Kédougou. I stopped by the office, where Hadiel helped me set up Twitter via SMS (it’s more complicated in Senegal than in America), and I visited Rachel, Emily and their adorable new son Xavier.

I ate my fill of buttery pastries from the decadent Grain d’Or bakery, packed up my backpack, and headed back down to Kédougou, where I am now. I’m just sitting around, typing and waiting for the rain to let up so that I can go run errands, get packed up, and turn the internet back on so that I can post this. When it starts raining we run around the house unplugging everything important because when lightning strikes on or near our Regional House compound everything plugged in just gets completely fried. We lost several routers that way last rainy season (I hear that’s down from six the year before) when no one was around to unplug things in time.

24°C = 72.2°F and 40°C = 104°F
In any case, soon I’ll bike over to the market to pick up a seriche gift for my family (a couple kilos of carrots and dry beans), buy my transport ticket to get back to Salémata tomorrow, gaze wistfully at the closed post office (I have a package waiting but the Poste has very limited hours and I won’t be able to get it before I go back to village) and stop by the office supply boutique to buy a notebook.

I’ll be back in Kédougou in a couple weeks, but now that I’ve figured out the whole SMS-tweeting thing you can look forward to those, for as long as my phone credit lasts, anyway. 

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