Archive for March, 2008


Sunday, March 30th, 2008

I’ve been having a lot of sock disasters in the last few weeks.  One pair is too tight and more than half finished.  One pair is mismatched in size because I changed needle materials after the first, and is 7/8 of the way half finished.

And the ones I’m working on now?  Can’t focus.  Multi-tasking is unsuccessful today.  I don’t have internet in my apartment, either…


Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Did I mention that I have all the free time in the world and absolutely no motivation to do anything with it?

That’s going to end in the very near future, but it’s still a bit ridiculous.  “The very near future” would mean Monday.  I came back to Kalamazoo late last night, stopping in Albion on the way to see Amanda‘s show.

I’m in a Panera drinking coffee and stealing internet, as I have not yet set up my own.  Hopefully I’ll manage a real post soon, but I thought that I should at least show some proof of my existence in the meantime.

I’m going to go home and make lentil soup! And French bread!  And try to hang a shower curtain on a slanted metal ceiling so I don’t flood out the person downstairs!

Ernestine’s Shawl

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Finished and gifted, but I committed the gravest error; I never took a photograph of both together. I may still have friends there with camera, but it’s going to take some e-mailing before I figure out how to get one.

I don’t really understand where all my time is going right now. I keep meaning to post, then getting distracted by something else entirely. I think it’s because at the cybercafé I know that my time is limited, so I do what needs to be done. Here…well, I have a computer all the time.

And a car…

And restlessness…

And an apartment in Kalamazoo…

And the home to which I’ve returned.

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

After 32 hours of transit, during which I slept for two. I’m still very loopy, having slept two hours out of 47 in total.

More later!

The home I’m leaving…

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

At approximately 23:55 hours, assuming that

a) I make it to the airport at all considering that many of the main roads are closed for this week’s Islamic conference

b) the plane actually leaves tonight

c) I don’t carry out my continuous threats to

1. hide in the refrigerator, leaving my family with the instruction of denying my existence (Mouse? We don’t know any Mouse. She doesn’t live here. Sorry, what? No toubabs here…)

2. Trade identities with Ernestine; I’ll go to the hospital to do her work and she’ll take my ticket. I’ll instruct my friends to inform all personnel that she can’t speak English because she’s a deaf mute who can’t write

3. refuse to leave

Or at least, all that would be fine and dandy if not for one little thing…

I want my mouse. I guess I’ll have to suck it up and swallow my pride. Anyway, I did go through all the trouble of packing and trying to dispose of my possessions (I’m notoriously awful at that last bit). Okay fine I’m resigned. Anyway, I’m going to pack Ernestine in my valise, Mamichou in my backpack, and Nala in my handbag. The others are going to crawl into the pockets of my luggage.

See you on the other side!!


Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

I live in a country where it’s possible to go anywhere and have a place to stay. Eight people on my program went to eight different rural villages to stay for eight days each, and if I wanted to visit any one of them I would feel comfortable calling any of those people and asking.

I travelled through the Gambia and upon leaving called my aunt in Kaolack (in the middle of the work day); she picked me up at the station and lodged me like a queen. I wanted to see that branch of my family before leaving.

This morning I said goodbye to Miriam/Nala, the six-year-old who made me feel comfortable in my house the first night (and who “taught me to wash dishes”).

This afternoon I made my last drive *into Dakar*.

I have four days left to go to the markets, speak in Wolof, see the people I know, and spend time with my host family.

This whole “leaving” thing is really a bit much for me.

At this point I am resigned to the fact that I’m going. I may not have come to terms with it yet, but I’ve accepted it. There are things that I miss (just don’t ask what they are because apart from people I’m not sure that I remember what they are), so I’m trying to look forward to the good parts.

I am sensible enough and intelligent enough to recognize that as much as my time here has been good, I could not stay here longer unless I were to have more of a life here. More studies, a job, more Sénégalese friends… I’ve been getting restless since the program ended (apart from the travel time), and I am grateful that I have had the down time to be restless and less busy/integrated.

Anyhow. Onward, and…upward??