Thursday, September 27, 2012

Je Suis Arrivé: My First Taste of Senegal

It's hot here. I arrived in Senegal with 57 other volunteers at 5:30 am, this was a good thing for 2 reasons first it was already 85 F and we were the only ones in the airport. So not was I only tired from not sleeping, I had sweating beading up on every inch of my skin and had to wrangle my luggage. (Yes I packed too much, but I'm still happy with what I brought as I sleep my first night in Senegal in my sleeping/mosquito proof hammock with a very large smile on my face)

After wrangling said luggage, we were greeted by current volunteers, our country director and other wonderful staff. I was more than happy to sit for another hour or so to the commute to Theis from Dakar. And the view on the way was pretty great.

I not only had a window seat on the plane (Dakar has a VERY short runway and the approach just about clips buildings from a water approach-not for the timid flyer) and also on the van ride to the training center and because my batteries were dead I simply took it in instead of taking pictures. Now looking back I'm happy this happened. There were some interesting things along the way, but that was one road in a very small region of this amazing country.

Once we got to the training center we were welcomed again with beating drums and some food, coffee and tea.r After luggage was moved again (I'm wondering if I should start counting) In the heat it started sprinkling and people found there natural places lounging, playing Frisbee and simply enjoying being here. I don't think any of us in our sleep deprived haze could quite get our heads wrapped around it.  We were here. In Africa. I had said it while I was in the states yet, in less than 24 hours I will be in AFRICA. Crazy.

And I am here. Enjoying it all. Since we are on the end of the raining season (and it rains as I right this at almost 3am) it is lush here. green beyond green. I was told they thought the rainy season was over and we got just another (and yet another) dose of it, it will start to cool off and the humidity will drop and get "Lion King"-like.  So while we have it I'm taking notes of the plants in the gardens we have in the center's compound (which is roughly the size of a city block with a tall cement wall around it and many buildings and gardens throughout)

As this week goes by I hope to LEARN a lot. Most of didn't sleep on the plane or the entire 1st day we were here and we had some training sessions. I hope I retain any of that information, but I did get a chance to sleep and will again after the rain stops and lets me back to my hammock until the breakfast drum sounds. Tomorrow is another day here and I can't wait for it. (and will take some pictures)


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I can't wait to hear more!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I can't wait to hear more!

  3. Grr. Hate when my posts don't stick and now I have to rewrite something that will never be as clever or touching as the first one. :)

    So glad you are safe and sound and taking it all in. I look forward to following your journey!