so it is friday and i am exhausted. this has been a long week.
yesterday we created our agfo pepineers (tree nurseries) which involved sifting two parts sand to one part cow shit (12 loads total) and then filling 400 sacks. then we (8 agfos left) seeded 10 sacks of 12 types of trees. i love the manual labor but i am tired and my shoulders hurt from all the digging and wheelbarrow pushing. i am going to try to convince somebody to give me a massage.
today they trucked all us toubabs learning wolof to the place du france and set us loose to practice our wolof on random senegalese strangers. i made a lot of new friends and think that my wolof is improving which makes me happy. i can make basic sentences and am able to chat with my family now with the assistance of my notebook and massive lists of verbs.
i also received my first homestay evaluation and my family has said nothing but the highest things about me and say that i am fully integrated into their family. they also tell me that my wolof is improving and apparently my picking up spoons after we finish eating is "helping out with chores." they and their friends insist that i learn 5 new verbs a day and quiz me daily. i appreciate it very much and know that my wolof is improving because of them but sometimes it is absolutely exhausting going from an entire day of work and learning wolof and agfo to home where i have to think in wolof all the time. i might have "complained" about this already but it s really the only major qualm i have with life here and its really not too bad. ultimately, i just remind myself that i didn't come to senegal to do things my way and i will just have to deal with things the way they are. in the end, everything will work itself out, inshallah.
tomorrow is saturday which means only a half day of work and then i have the rest of the weekend off. i can't wait but i do have a bunch of exams to study for so it isn't that much of a break. i think kira is going to come over tomorrow to practice wolof with my family and then the agfos are meeting for drinks in celebration of our new peps. it is nice to have plans. i will definitely squeeze in some sleeping.
life really is more exciting but every time i sit in front of a computer i am at a loss for words. i wonder why that is. maybe it is because i am always tired and need to sleep more. i try to sleep in more but the mosque's iman always wakes me up at 5:55AM and there is really no getting back to sleep after that. it's amazing how early i wake up here. but biking in predawn is one of the most enjoyable parts of my day so no complaints here.
will write more soon. i am happy, healthy, and well. keep the updates coming, write me letters/emails, and think of me often!