i was able to stay away from kaolack since christmas (quite a feat!) and am now here in town to get some work and other things done before i head out to thies for in-service training. it has been very refreshing to be away from site but at the same time i can't believe it. it feels weird to know that i will be away for so long and as i was leaving i felt a small hint of affection for my family. they really are good people, it is just sometimes the culture and my being completely out of my comfort zone that bothers me at times. they were all really sad i was going and my "little sister" mamasou gave me a temporary tattoo of a soccer player to wear and remember her by. the thing is pretty ugly and she just kind of slapped it onto my arm but it is a nice little memento and it was sweet of her to do that as wolofs are not very sentimental people. i gave them all a good laugh as i was leaving i said "hey! while i am away you guys better not eat pedro!" they all loved that and said they will eat him for lunch.
my first night here (i got here the 23rd) a bunch of my favorite people were at the house and we headed out for beers and watching the africa cup. senegal was playing tunisia and we were all pumped for senegal to whoop some tunisian ass. i hadn't had a beer in forever so it was quite amazing, despite the lousy quality of the beer. in the end senegal and tunisia tied 2-2. oh well. we went out for dinner and it was beyond fantastic to have something other than mafe or ceeb u jen. my stomach didn't agree so much so i suffered the consequences of such a drastic change in diet the next morning but it was totally worth it.
yesterday i spent most of the day writing one of two reports for IST (i thought my days of report writing were over!) and managed to write 8 pages about the natural resources and other aspects of my village. if you are interested in reading it, and thus learning about my village, let me know and i will be happy to email it to you. i also got two packages from my family (which made me happy) and got to cook dinner with JC which was french onion soup, biscuits, and salad. yumm.
today was...uneventful. but sometimes the uneventful days are much needed. i spent most of it designing the t-shirt for team kaolack for upcoming WAIST. have i mentioned WAIST? it's the west african international softball tournament and ex-pats from america (embassy workers, other PCVs in west african countries) and other countries form softball teams and it is a huge deal and there is american beer and real american hot dogs and it is supposed to be a big deal. i am very excited. as i don't play softball, my function in the kaolack team is to creating the most bad ass t-shirt (based on a voted and agreed on theme) and eating as many hot dogs as possible.
tomorrow night the boys from kedegou are stopping by kaolack for the evening and we're all having steak night and a party and it will be loads of fun as we have not seen these cats since we all left for site installations.
i head to thies on sunday. i'll be going back to my host family from PST and i am very excited to see them. i can't believe it is already IST. nuts.