Monday, May 19, 2008

Elle Travaille, Elle Vit!

And it's over... The movie is done minus the subtitles - but I'm done. Feels good to save it for the last time. These past few weeks in Dakar have been great though. Seen a few concerts, caught an awesome contemparary art exhibit downtown, had lots of happy hours, found some hip shirts at the Fuggi Jai (the Shake and Sell market), even spent two free nights on the floor of L'Meridien thanks to a friend of a friend of a friend. I've been working at the US Embassy training the AV specialist on Final Cut Pro during the days and working at a local documentary filmmaker's house, Cheikh Darou Seck, at night.
Dakar is amazing and all but I’m glad to be back in Tambacounda. The slow pace of life and the big kitchen at the Peace Corps regional house – Yesterday I made a huge pot of veggie chili and then for dinner we did spring rolls with fresh mint and red beans. Incredible. Today I’m just doing some last minute interneting from looking at jobs on to emailing my boss my quarterly report and vacation request forms. Its been probably 6 or 7 months since I’ve really spent a lot of time in my village what with the movie and all but now the rains have started and its time to put some trees in the ground. I talked to my family in the village and the boys, Ibou and Malick, have been watering the tree nursery every other day. I’m planning on giving those trees out mostly within my village but in another month or so, when the Forestry Dept here starts giving away trees, I’ll be showing up there with a donkey cart to bring more out to the neighboring villages. I’m excited about trees this year because I feel like I’ve learned so much from my mistakes last year; namely that I will have to make each farmer protect each tree they plant. And it looks like I only have about 4 months left in Senegal all together. I’m applying for a few jobs in Dakar but my guess is I’ll be home sooner rather than later. A lot of volunteers from my stage are planning on extending a third year either at their sites or in Dakar as admin assistants but my student loans are hovering over every decision I make about the immediate future. I’m trying not to spend my last few months in country thinking about being in America but its hard. Who doesn’t think about air-conditioning and ice when its 100 degrees day after day? I just don’t want to regret spending my last months thinking about the future when the present is so cool. I mean, I live and work in Africa. And not only that but I live in a small, remote village and I communicate with the villagers in their own language and I am doing good work that will hopefully have lasting effects. My life couldn’t be cooler right now (except in degrees celcius). I can’t wait for these next few months what with my vacation plans starting to take shape. Both Duncan and Sahil (my buddies from college) are planning to come out here. We’re thinking about either doing a big loop through Mali or heading up through Mauritania and Morocco. We’ll see. Ok, I’m off. Hope the all of you are doing well and I hope Obama wins. Peace and Lots of Love,