About a month ago I started out on the long journey that was our second round of training. It started with language seminar where I learned that I still don't know squat about Wolof. From there we ventured into some "optional" seminars including all-volunteer conference and the West African International Softball Tournament in Dakar. I say "optional" because they just seemed too much fun to possibly pass up. I saw many people I've been missing and enjoyed some western pleasures I've been missing. Most notable: warm clean shower and pizza.
After our few days of Dakar galavanting and reality altering we returned to our training center in Thies for 2 weeks of constant learning and little sleep. After about 100 hours of sitting in classrooms, listening to lectures, and being fueled by Nescafe alone, we were deemed fit to begin working in our respective towns, villages, and cities. Goodbyes were bitter-sweet. We all love each other but it was a long time to be cramped in one place with 55 grumpy compatriots. For me going back was a little complicated though. There was some trouble waiting in my beachside paradise.
For many reasons I have decided to switch homes. I was having some struggles in the old one that I was trying to work through but ultimately decided were not worth the anxiety. After going back and forth for weeks, laying awake in bed one night I asked myself, "do you want to live here?" And as you might have guessed, the answer was no. There are many difficulties inherit in the work here and I have been navigating them every day. I finally realized that it was not healthy for me to be facing even more challenges in my own home. So I made this aware to my good friend Talla Diop of the Peace Corps and over the course of training they arranged for me to move. And last night I did! Which I why I'm surrounded by clothes, sleeping on the floor, full of emotion, and couldn't be happier.
TBC, I have lots to say and lots to show.
PS, please pray that the third name sticks.