|Dark blue eyebrows for Ramadan|
Korite itself was actually much less exciting. I spent the morning helping around the house: cleaning everything, catching and slaughtering two chickens with my cousin, cleaning the chickens and chopping potatoes and onions for lunch. Needless to say, I was not wearing my beautiful new outfit. Lunch cooked for hours and wasn't ready until almost 4... kind of like Thanksgiving in the States, but with neighbors involved. Everyone goes house to house and crashes each others lunches, which were all pretty much the same. Only the men dress up during the day to go to mosque.
At 5pm, my "mom" decided that we were done with house work for the day and she, my female cousin, and I could finally shower and dress up. The two of them spent a good hour putting on make up and taking it all off again. We were not ready to go show off to the rest of the neighborhood until 7, nearly sunset when it's dark and no one can see your gorgeous new complet anyway.
|All dressed up for Korite|
Most underwhelming part, when we did go visiting, we only walked down the block to my uncle's house, where we spend a good portion of most days anyway. But everyone was really fancy and we took a ton of photos. I got special permission to go and greet the families of other Peace Corps trainees in the neighborhood, but only briefly because my "mom" is overprotective and hates me being out of the house after sunset. When I got home the new clothes were already put away... just don't quite get it.
After Ramadan, the food at my homestay house become rather meager: rice and leaf sauce everyday, and maybe a fish or two (split nine-ways). The big meal is lunch and we set aside leftovers for dinner, usually not served until 9 or 10pm. On a bad day, dinner is not reheated and my "mom" has already eaten a good portion of the leftovers.
|Cooking for our host families|
French Toast was much easier and well received. My host father even went out to buy more ingredients so that I could teach him how to make it and he could have more to share with my uncle down the street. French Toast will definitely be making an early appearance at my permanent site.
Goundaga is on river, which means fresh fish and swimming! While Goundaga does not have any running water, electricity, or cellphone reception (yet), it also happily lacks the garbage and disease-infested puddles that plague the towns and cities of Senegal. But once I am settled in, I will find ways to communicate and update the blog from the nearest town, Kounkane. Goundaga is about 7km from Kounkane, mostly on narrow bush paths that work nicely for biking - and I now have my Peace Corps issued bike. And there are tons of colorful birds in the fields and forest along the bush paths. Sadly, I've seen some of my little brothers and sisters catching some of these beautiful birds with the other village kids, tying string to the birds' legs, and then "playing" (read plucking off their feathers and swinging around) until they die. Maybe these kids are jaded by all the beauty that surrounds them, maybe it's just cultural differences, or both. Anyhow, everything about Goundaga looks like it is going to be a fantastic experience and I will have friendly Peace Volunteers in nearby villages and towns to collaborate with.
|View of the river near Goundaga|
Two more weeks of training! Cannot wait for install!