Monday, March 22, 2010
Back from Spring Break and off to the Internship
Tonight I'm sitting in my new family's living room watching tv with multiple family memebers. One of my brothers has an internet cable which is super cool. I don't think I'll be using it a lot but it's nice that's it there. We spent the three days traveling across the country dropping off the other students at their internship sites before I got here which was very long but I'm here now and starting to settle in.
Spring break was fantastic! We spent three days is St.Louis at this adorable hotel right on the river with great food and very friendly staff. The city itself is absolutely beautful and is unlike anything I've seen in Senegal so far. The architecture has a lot of french colonial influence and it reminds me a lot of New Orleans. Not only in buildings, but in mood and personality as well. Everyone was so friendly, welcoming and laid back. We fit in just fine. It was too hard to pick pictures so there's only a few up now put I'll add a link to the facebook album I will put together.
We spent our days wandering around town, meeting people and doing some shopping. Shopping was so much nicer than Dakar. You can actually look around without be baggered on a constant basis. In the evening, we saw some live music and danced a bit. We ate great food and made friends, which is really all you can ask for. After St.Louis, we headed to the National Bird Park. There's only one hotel for the park and pretty much nothing else. It was a good hour and a half of driving on tiny dirt roads to get there and the closest thing to us was one little village about three miles away. The hotel had a great pool which was nice for relaxation but lacked some customer service skills. We went to the bird park itself on our secound day and had a blast. We of course saw tons of birds, especailly huge pelicans, but we also saw warthogs, crocodiles and a python! After the bird park, we headed to the desert. Though I really enjoyed everything on spring break, the desert was my favorite. Sleeping in the shadow of huge sand dunes was just so cool. And we got to ride camels! The employees played traditional music in the evening and everyone danced, we ate great food and hung out under the stars. I couldn't have asked for much more.
It is a bit of a change now though, to go from hanging with a grop of american students 24/7 to being all by myself! There is another student whose about 12 miles away but she's in a tiny village and transportation is difficult. Things are gong well here overall. My language skills are improving by the day, especially wolof since I'm expected to know a lot for my internshp. Speaking oif which, the internship has been interesting. The organization itself is really cool. I've just worked with one of its two projects so far, the one that works with young women who are no longer in school for whatever reason. They teach them trade skills along with basic literacy and other useful things such as health and hygiene. I've shadowed one class so far and really enjoyed it. The other project is working with street children, I reprot more when later when I've seen more of that. The people I work with are very welcoming and energetic and I think I'll really enjoy working there. I don't really think they will be having me do much but at least I get to tag along to interesting things.
Well, that's it for now I think but more updates to come. Keep the emails and comments coming, they are all the more appreciated since I'm much more isolated now. Until next time!
P.S- pictures are taking too long to load but I'll add more soon!