Monthly Archives: September 2013

Water Shortage

There’s a water shortage in the capital city of Dakar so they are diverting water from Thies (where we are) to meet the need of the huge city. We have to decrease our water usage for a day or two. This does not affect our drinking water which is purchased separately, pre-filtered. But for bathing, we are using water brought up (by us) from the well for bucket baths/showers haha. The opinion of this was unanimous excitement! We were all so excited to really understand what it’s going to be like for the next two years. Bucket baths and pit toilets, woo!

Here’s a pic of us shelling seeds in the wonderfully cool afternoon

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Arrival in Senegal

I’ve made it! I’m finally here. Thank goodness. This has been about 23 months in the making and I’m finally here! Our plane left at 10pm Et and arrived here around 10am our new time (not sure what it’s actually called). Our flight was delayed because Air Force One was on the ground and therefore no planes can fly out haha. Anyways, sleepy flight. We arrived very tired, but the other Peace corps people greeting us were friendly and excited and got us STOKED! We took busses to Thies where we will be for a while for language and culture training. The facility is small and pretty, but we are essentially on lock down. Obviously we are a liability walking the streets not speaking the language(s). Haha. Our group marks the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps Senegal!

We were welcomed with a huge communal lunch of spiced rice, veggies, and meat served in a bowl the size of a hula hoop and about 5 people shared from each bowl. It’s banana and watermelon season right now. Awesome! Comin’ up on mango season (can’t wait!)

Aaaaand it’s quite warm and humid. Didn’t stop us from dancing to the drums in the afternoon heat for an hour though!

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Preparing to leave Philadelphia and take a bus to NY! Everyone has 100lbs of luggage max. Everyone is excited and stuffing their faces with chipotle and Starbucks coffee

Goodbye Red Bluff

Leaving Red Bluff was strange.  Strange to think that I haven’t really spent much time there for the last 5 years, but I still consider it home because my parents are there and because of the amazing community that helped launch me from Red Bluff to college in San Diego and to all the other places I leave Red Bluff for: Lassen Volcanic National Park, Rocky Mountain, trips to Alaska, etc.  Red Bluff is a good base camp with a crew of people there always excited to welcome you back and prepare you for your next adventure, wherever that may be.  As much as I hate on Red Bluff for being one of those ‘Small Town America’s with all of its quirks and craziness, it is small town America in the way that everyone is there for each other.  And there for me, especially, it feels like.  The ladies of the Red Bluff High School front office/counseling center/student store/TRC threw me an amazing going-away potluck that meant so much to me.  Their kindness and guidance has helped push me to seek out these adventures time and time again.  And, most importantly, they will be there for my mom when she is missing me.

Now I am all packed and in San Francisco!  Just a mini vacation here before I leave early tomorrow morning for staging in Philadelphia!  (Yes don’t worry, I’m going to get a cheesesteak) Parents and boyfriend Rory are here in SF and we are going to hang out and enjoy the city!

Packing notes: fit everything into one suitcase and one duffel bag to be checked on and carrying on my backpacking backpack.  Some strange things I’m taking: yoga mat (could double as a bed if needed), tent (for the bugs), harmonica (goal: learn how to play it), and lots of Red Bluff/US trinkets for gifts.  Oh, and like 100 granola bars.

Preparation! Post-evacuation from Colorado

So, I packed all of my things in my house in Estes Park, CO.  One more day of work and I was off!!  That last day was a bit rainy.  By ‘a bit’ I mean, the roads were washing out, businesses had waves crashing up against them, highways were shut down in every direction.  It looked like a good time to leave.  Luckily, all of my things were already packed in my car, so I took off to CA!  (Good thing I had been using my mom’s Highlander all summer, otherwise I would have been stranded at my house unable to get out the driveway)Image  I’m going to be wishing for this water soon enough.  Just a few days at home with the family before I leave.  Getting the last preparations in order