Archive for September, 2007

Fatigue, fatigue, fatigue.

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I took pictures of my room, my fabric, and my knitting.  And my quilt.  Unfortunately, I have not found a chance to upload them yet.  I want to use another student computer from the Baobab Center, because to be honest I’m not entirely sure how these ones work.  The ones at the Cybercafés, that is.

It was so incredibly hot today.  I don’t really think that it was worse than usual, but it felt like it.  It didn’t help that we had an extra Wolof session with my least favorite teacher.  He’s an extremely interesting and nice man, but I cannot stand his class.  It bores me to death.  Everyone was in a bad mood.  Still, if this is the worst of it so far??  Things are going well.  I am happy.

There were adorable bats in the crown of the neighbor’s tree tonight, by the way.

Anyway.  Within the week.  Photos.  I swear.

Things I Like

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007
-lizards running up trees
-calling my sister at 8:00 AM here / 1:00 AM in San Francisco, and responding to the question “what was that sound?” with “oh, that was a rooster”.
-eating mangos off the street, even though they told us not to.
-reading to my host siblings in french, even though my accent is terrible.
-doing yoga in the baobab center because it’s just plain weird.

La Sieste

Friday, September 21st, 2007

It gets so hot here in midday that no one really wants to do anything but sleep.

And that’s what most people do.

I took my first real nap here yesterday, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to take more!  I woke up so sweaty, sticky, and hot that I thought I would never be able to detach my limbs from each other.

For now, I just go to bed around 11.  I get way more sleep than I do in the states, but I’m also more exhausted here.  Because of the heat?

We have bread and coffee for breakfast every morning.  I buy fruit on the way to the Baobab Center, then go home after Wolof for lunch.  There is usually more to do at the Center after lunch so we go back.  We usually hang around for a while, go to the internet cafe, or walk somewhere.  There are students from other programs and some independents as well who hang around the center.  After that, I go home to eat dinner and play with my host siblings/read and knit or sew.

That’s life for now!!

In another week things change, because we spend a month in St. Louis for a course in sustainable development.

I’m off to watch little lizards climb trees.


Sunday, September 16th, 2007

So, I keep writing sentences in English and throwing in a bunch of French words.  I can’t help it.  I suppose that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.  I still suck at communicating with people most of the time, but at least my vocabulary improves daily.  I can now say iron, tributary, and cockroach among other things.

Yes, cockroach.  I shut myself in the bathroom with four of them last night.  That’s normal here though.  Everyone else saw them before I did.  Most of my new vocabulary, by the way, comes from my five-year-old sister.  *takes a bow*.

Today is the first day that I have had nothing to do.  Normally we have been walking around in the sun on the way to other places, but we have Sundays off.  I was sitting in my house all morning, then escaped quite shamefully to the “American Cafe” that is next to my house.  Even though all the coffee it Nescafe, it was delicious.  (I mean in Dakar.  Not just the cafe.  I have nescafe and baguette with chocolate peanut butter every morning for breakfast.)

I did buy a toothstick for class, but that’s about it.

I started my Lotus Blossom Tank, so I’ma go play on Ravelry before dinner.  =D

Asalaa Malekuum!!

Friday, September 14th, 2007

I wrote a post yesterday, but I ran out of time at the cyber cafe before I had the opportunity to actually post it.

We arrived safely on Monday night.  We spent a few nights together in an apartment complex, then moved in with our families on Monday night.

My family happens to be Catholic (a small percentage the population is, but most are Muslim) and willing to work around vegetarians.

We went into the centre ville today, where I greatly improved my french in a single afternoon.  It was kind of crazy. As a contrast, my english gets worse by the day.

I bought fabric today…

I am knitting a sock from some yarn Amanda gave me for christmas.  Trekking XXL. I can’t show pictures just yet, but I promise to do so soon.

I need to finish checking my e-mail before dinner, but I am here and safe!! Madrid was awesome too.

Madrid Aeropuerto

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Just checking in.  I have less than two minutes left on my internet allowance from the Madrid airport.  We had a ten hour layover here, so we explored the city for a while.  It was excellent, and we leave for Dakar at 17:55.  (I can use Spanish in a practical sense!!!

I´ll check in again as soon as possible!!

Senegal? Yes please.

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Well, I’m in Chicago on the way to the airport. I have a lot of things to tell you but unfortunately all I can think of right now is AAAH LUGGAGE!!!!


Monday, September 3rd, 2007

I’m going to start living out of my suitcase as of today. I am packing all of my clothes, then finishing dresses.

I made most of the owl dress after work on saturday, so I really just have minimal work to do. I need a zipper, a hem, serged edges, and to sew down the bodice lining in the front. The pattern (McCalls M4444) is the same one as I used for the silk dresses last winter, and they actually leave the edges mostly raw. I decided that I’ll take a little bit more slip-stitching for a more durable garment.


I started cutting out the tree dress about half an hour ago. I am using the skirt pieces of the same pattern, but changing the bodice section. Most dressed follow the same basic structure for the skirts anyway, so this works out well for everyone.


The new fabric that I showed the other day is going to become a shirt similar to the gold top I made in July, but with cap sleeves and a side zipper instead of a cross-over clasp.

I know that I have a ton of projects to finish. I really do. I really really really do. It’s just so hard to get anything done when I know that I’m leaving soon. Packing has helped. All of my clothes are packed except for the things I haven’t finished making. All “product” is packed.


My pills are safely stored away in my new wide-mouthed blue Nalgene (my orange one has a small mouth and is therefore unsuitable for acting as a packing container.


Okay, I’m sorry. There is something frightening and hilarious about this image. I decided that a Nalgene full of pills was way funnier than a Nalgene full of yarn. Or even a Nalgene full of panties. So pills it is. In case anyone is worried, it’s just the vitamins that I packed all together in the bottom. I’m going to separate them out again once I get there and keep them in plastic bags, but this was way more space-efficient. The Doxycycline, being the only one I really need to worry about, is in its own plastic bag. The Cipro and generic painkillers are staying in their own private tubes, and hoping that I don’t need to use them.

Still, it’s really strange. Usually I don’t take anything at all. Nothing.

Speaking of Doxycycline…I start taking it tomorrow. That means I’m really really close. I leave in eight days. Seven, really.

I’m rambling. The point is, I need to finish the bag. I need to do finishing work on owls, piece together trees, make shirt. I need to decide what I’m actually doing with the other skirt, and with the stripe-y fabric. That’s definitely far below *possible* production, but hopefully I’ll have some extra free time on the side.

On another, less panicky note…

Today when I went to the “people” page on Ravelry, I was planning to look through the favorite projects section. Once the page loaded though, I was confronted with a picture of my own Venezia Pullover!! That’s really not so unexpected, but it was still a little surreal. It actually shows a random selection of favorites, and you can click for more. It’s quite addictive. People have excellent taste.

The Sneak’s hat looks like this:


Or this, if you want to see the body cable pattern:


I’ll try to get a clearer picture later on. Did I mention that I also need to finish this by the time I leave? Oh well.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the art piece I’m bringing for my host family.


It was hard to photograph this too, as it has a plastic covering it.

Okay I’ve really lost track of any semblance of pretending that I have a point by now. I am going nowhere with this, and I don’t really care. It’s only going to get worse as the week progresses, because I have the feeling I’m about to stop possessing the capabilities of sleep. If not tonight, tomorrow. If not tomorrow, then definitely by the next night.

(EDIT: Looking back, I see that I forgot having mentioned the end of the post.  With the deer, I mean.  I went on to add that weird little last section, but I think it’s pretty funny that I managed it in the first place so I’m going to leave it.  It really demonstrates the state of mind that flitting about around this household at the moment.  Crazy!!)