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I’m alive! I’m still here! All my apologies for the lack of updates lately. Hopefully I’ll adequately present my excuses in the blurb to follow. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll just reiterate my laziness. Here goes nothing!
In April I moved to Dakar. Let’s just say that during my COS (close of service) conference sometime back in March (or was it February?) I had a prise de conscience or an anxiety attack or SOMETHING that made me think it was a good idea to stay here for another year. I’m still riding that wave via my new job in the Peace Corps office which has been great. Just absolutely great. I really can’t mince words here. Right now my job title is Health and Environmental Education Program Assistant…. which boils down to a lot of volunteer support, training organization, and other piecemeal things that give me a reason to stay very busy as I’m sitting in an air-conditioned room for almost 8 hours a day. I’ve loved working here for the past few months and I’m consistently pleased at the new opportunities and challenges that this line of work has given me. Could I have found this satisfaction in the States? That, I do not know. My only complaint, really, is about the shoes.
My new apartment, in which I and my new roommates (roommates! yay!) live, is almost exactly a three minute walk from our office. Its rainy season now and pretty much the only time that Dakar is uncomfortably hot and uncomfortably puddle-filled. Not necessarily from the rain, but also from the raw sewage gurgling up from the bowels of my neighborhood through manhole covers and into the streets bringing a new color to the landscape: the neutral brown water and mud, bordered by a lovely emerald green where its had the opportunity to grow new life, accented by the brilliant shades of trash that has washed up from God-knows-where. Truly a feast for the eyes. Or something like that. Try putting your tootsies into that kind of environment. Even your sandal-clad tootsies. Its pretty gross and enough to send any self-respecting shoe into retirement. Thankfully, I bought rain boots and thankfully, some sweet (or very clean) people in my neighborhood have strategically placed stones in the puddles so as to provide a way to navigate through it all. Even with boots, I’ve tried to stifle the urge to go jumping through the puddles because sewage splattered clothes is not a good look.
Though my shoes haven’t been welcomed to Dakar, I certainly have. And I hope to write more about my new life here so you all can get acquainted as I’m getting acquainted. Miss you all and write more soon. And this time I mean it.
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