Naka waaaaa: hows it?
Naka waa[ker ga], a general euphemism to ask how your family is doing as well as how are things with you. Though I would love to know how things are with you [please, do tell], I figure I should give a proper update. Maa ngi fi rekk or nu nga fa rekk: the proper response, literally meaning I am here only or they are there only. So here:
-Danken danken- slowly slowly. Funny how fast we hope to do things in America, but here, or I suppose at the beginning of anything, patience is the key word. I presently just completed my second proposition for what I will be doing here. Thus far, I have had a sporadic workload including: grading over 70 French CV’s for a new World Bank position, documenting a training on family planning curriculum in the suburban area of Dakar [the centers for urban poverty, full of concentrated human life and scarce resources with areas moving from slums to nice establishments], reading the french grant proposition that was submitted to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and doing markups on the main training pamphlet for the upcoming USAID project. I meet with the co-Country Director tomorrow to discuss the new proposition.
– Wolof classes are going equally slowly, mostly I’m just rubbish at languages, but hey, I suppose thats why I’m here? I can easily say that my French has improved, from my level of vocabulary to the rapidity with which I can speak. More importantly, I can now text short hand French. Making moves. Tomorrow, I shall visiting the fabric market during my Wolof class to make new dresses! muahah.
-I went to the beach for the first time ever in Dakar on Sunday at a beach called Bell Air [$2 fee, nice enough to pay for no hawkers, calm water, a beautiful view, and no trash!!!!] . Due to my one piece and my sports bra tan, my back now looks like the label of a Dos Equis bottle. Will being going shopping for a different suit as well.
-Vocab: Jiggenu Hamburger: aka the nouvelle femme who works and studies, doesn’t know how to cook because she has no time, and thus, must buy hamburgers.
-Colonial Fail of the Week: The name Senegal is said to have two roots. Sunu [with a squiggle over the n] in wolof means ‘our’ and seeni means y’alls or their’s. ‘Gaal’ means boat. Supposedly when the French first came down to the region, they wanted to know what this “place” was called. Problem: they don’t speak Wolof. In all likelihood there were a bunch of mosquito bitten French men pointing all around the port and dock, one picking up a shell and saying the name in French, then trying to wave all around and infer he was asking about the names. This smart young lad just happened to be pointing at a rank of boats. Thus we have Senegal- yes, those are our/their boats you not-so-intelligent foreigners.
-Rest of the weekly itinerary: grab coffee with new Moroccan friend Zainab tomorrow after shopping, hang out with Cap Verdian Francois who is a samba teacher, go out to dinner with friend Vijay on Sunday, the head of Africomm Suarl in Senegal, finish writing letters I’ve been working on mentally for ages, keep taking iron tablets for recent bout of anaemia, pray it’s not typhoid, malaria, sleeping sickness, or e-coli, keep practising that thing called sleep [jokes jokes jokes], make next story. Ciao!