I started writing this over a week ago before I was on my way to site in the short time I had left with internet access, a table to write at, and my computer (that I left at the training center) Much has changed since then.
My Senegalese name is Daba Mbodji (Prounounced Mbouch) and I live in a small town north of Thies, called Mboro. It’s known for it’s vegetables and fruit market and gardens. My family is small in terms of Senegalese size with only 10 people not including myself. I live with my grandmother, my mom, my 3 sisters and my brother and his wife along with their kids. Luckily my siblings are around my age and my tarondoo (namesake) sister is also unmarried with no children. So we have much in common.
My house has 5 small bedrooms, a living room (with a tv-most channels are in french or wolof) and a shared courtyard (where all the cooking and laundry is done as well as hanging out) with more extended family with house that is connected to ours. So all together there are 20-ish people around at any given time in or around the house. Needless to say I shouldn’t ever be lonely.
I live a few blocks away from a school and a few more blocks from the other 3 volunteers that my site mates here that live with their own receptive families. But even living that short distance I have gotten “lost” a few times in the week I have been at site. I see this as an adventure to get to know my neighborhood and I can easily be “found” by asking where my families’ house is or calling a site mate to come find me. Or worse comes to worse I can call my brother and try in broken wolof or french to come find me or find where I am. Either way it’s not hard to get lost or found in my town.
I will write more while I’m here in Thies for training in the next few days. My rechargeable battery charger isn’t working so I have not been able pictures. So my goal of being here is to figure it out so I can show you more of my family and my new home for the next few months.