Pictures from Senegal

Wednesday, June 23

50 Things I Never Expected to Happen:

1. Using a French keyboard often enough that my fingers start to forget where the letters are.
2. Wolof words entering the English language, ex. Poop.
3. Having dreams so vivid I wake up crying and call someone to make sure they aren’t real.
4. Wishing my 2 year old host brother was around when he’s gone.
5. Not falling in love with mangoes.
6. Being unable to think of something I’d like to have sent or brought from the States.
7. Day dreaming about having a Peace Corps issued horse.
8. Learning to create tourism websites in (and for) a 3rd world country.
9. Wishing I had enough money to buy a really nice camera.
10. Using an iPhone. Here, in Africa.
11. Not wanting to see the ocean.
12. Incorporating clicks and clucks in my vocabulary.
13. Scooping a fly out of my cold drink, and continuing to drink it.
14. Worrying constantly about how much trash I’m creating.
15. Having access to enough sugar for a self-induced diabetic coma.
16. Being called racist.
17. Having weekly, if not more, conversations with my predecessor.
18. Writing a semi-weekly blog.
19. Being jealous of my brother; who gets rocked to sleep every night.
20. Concluding that my real mother is somehow Wolof due to similar mannerisms.
21. Enjoying onion sauce.
22. Missing the rain, thunder and lightning, so much.
23. Viewing a traffic jam as an opportunity to shop.
24. Abandoning forever more my favorite cookie, Oreo, after a bad night of food poisoning.
25. Accepting cockroaches as part of my world.
26. Naming the lizard in my cubby bathroom: Steve.
27. Talking out loud to people who aren’t here, in a language they wouldn’t understand anyway.
28. Living with all the side effects of Mefloquine.
29. That there’s a tennis court in Mboro.
30. And a pool.
31. Listening to my host parents’ debate of getting a microwave.
32. Or air conditioning.
33. Being able to avoid eating fish at every meal.
34. My host Dad having a car.
35. Changing my mind about not wanting to go home.
36. Not writing in my journal daily like I did the last time I went abroad.
37. Having Wi-Fi internet in my room.
38. Feeling scandalous for dressing how I normally would in the States.
39. Liking Senegalese beer (Gazelle) more than any back home.
40. Wishing I’d packed fewer clothes.
41. And only 2 pairs of shoes.
42. My freckles falling off and the skin healing as if they were never there.
43. My hair curling the way I wanted it to in the states… but without the rollers.
44. Finding the ability to lose my temper quickly, but get over it just as quickly.
45. Making juice from dried hibiscus flowers.
46. Having an air conditioned office, but not going there every day.
47. Acquiring the ability to sit in a room with people for hours at a time and not talk.
48. Learning to operate on less than 6 hours of sleep.
49. Losing so much weight, so quickly.
50. Taking the Foreign Service Officer Test.

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