Wednesday, November 14, 2007

kaolack & cat fiascos

the past few days have been spent in kaolack, a sprawling and somewhat unaesthetically pleasing city that is my new regional base. despite its appearance, i like it and am becoming familiar with the area. i have been biding my time by going to the market -- west africa's second largest covered market -- every day to buy items for my new hut that i will be moving into tomorrow morning at 9AM. thankfully we have had a few other volunteers who have been here for a while and know the whole deal helping us out with the bargaining and finding of things or else i would be completely lost and confused. since monday, PCVs have been carted around the country of senegal and installed to their new sites and since i am one of the later PCVs to be installed, it has been exciting and nerve-wracking to witness them leaving the house with all their belongings as well as receiving relieved and/or freaked out text messages about the installations.

i have a new mailing address that you can send letters and/or packages to. i share it with a bunch of other PCVs (to keep the costs down) and it is under another volunteers name, so please address all items as follows:

Lauren Banta
ATTN: PCV Angelica Kang
Corps de la Paix
BP 493
Kaolack, Senegal
West Africa

i am enjoying my new title as an official PCV and excited for everything to start. otherwise i don't have that much to say because things have been pretty chill (yet i am always exhausted? strange.)

i have really been wanting to get a kitten for my hut but since there aren't really shelters or pet stores here, have just been waiting for the opportunity. the other day i was at the market waiting for some people to buy vegetables and was just wandering around when i came upon 3 adorable kittens playing in a basket. most of the kittens here have been kind of ratty and not so cute but these 3 were adorable and hearty and i definitely squealed a little about it. so i called my friend over to come see them and as soon as i did, i was surrounded by a bunch of little boys yelling at me to take the kittens (senegalese don't look upon cats very fondly). at that moment i thought that perhaps this was my moment to seize so i was like, "really? i can take them?" and they were all "yes! yes! take them! take them away!" so i started to reach for one and then they all started to yell all kinds of things like "they are good for eating!" and all these guys started to come over to help me grab the cats. of course the kittens freaked out with all the noise and clamor and immediately dispersed and ran in all directions so i was unable to grab them. so everybody is yelling and laughing and grabbing for the kittens and the kittens look terrified and i am being pushed around and there is just no way that this is going the way i want it to. so i start yelling "bay ko! bay ko!" which means "forget it! leave it!" in wolof but nobody is listening and at one point i even somehow get smacked (unintentionally) in the face. finally this guy grabs the one kitten i wouldn't want (the ugliest of the three) by the tail and is lifting it up in the air and it's freaking out and screaming and i'm freaking out and screaming and reaching for it and it gnashes all its little teeth at me and the guy drops it and it runs away and i decide that that is a good time for me to run away too.

the end.
and so the adventure continues...

write me letters!
i will have lots of time in the bush to write back so i promise i will write you if you write me.

happy thanksgiving (a bit early) and i will talk to you all soon.


treesaver said...

omg, that was a crazy story!!

so here's the puzzle for the day: how many of those kittens can make a whole cheebee?

Natalie said...

hahahaha. i love that cat story.