Friday, February 6, 2009

Back to Business

Happy New Year everyone! I've posted some pictures from my Christmas in Nouakchott and New Years in Senegal as well as some pictures of the girls working and sewing in the center. I took one of my henna-ed hands because my family was adamant that before I traveled (I am going to Senegal again!) I would get henna on my hands. It's very common for women to get their henna done if they are traveling, getting married, or bored and want to feel
feminine. I just feel a like I have some kind of skin disease.
This past month at our center has been busy, the girls are sewing fabric to tye-dye and they're learning more advanced English as well as some health lessons and geography. The director of our program came for a short visit. The girls were able to talk to her about some of their hopes for the center and it was quite powerful to hear some of my friends vocalize why the center is important to them. Mike and I are lucky, we have a group of women that care for the center as much as we do and despite their own obligations (like raising children, taking care of their home (well, tent), and cooking often for large numbers of people twice a day) they stay up late sewing so that they can sell mulafas to put money in our center savings account.
Everyday I've been helping my friend water the garden that she and her family are growing. Growing a garden in the desert is no small task, but watering it is also a huge chore in itself. They don't have running water so we have to take to water out of the well and carry it
to the garden. To water the small garden with just a few plots takes about two hours but I really enjoy doing it. It has become time for us to socialize and joke and I love feeling like a part of the family. And more often than not a big plate of rice is waiting for us when
were done. Although it's beginning to get hot again (about 90F during the day) it was very cold in January. Because there is nothing to stop the wind and sand people got very sick. I started sleeping at my familys' house because it was too cold to sleep in mine, plus my friend makes
something like "cream of wheat" every morning and I love it! The holidays were a great break for all of the volunteers and Senegal was like a dream. After the break I felt healthy and ready to get back to site. But it looks like I'm leaving again, for all of the Peace Corps volunteers in West Africa are headed to Dakar for a Baseball Tournament.

1 comment:

Ahmed said...

Great work Jackie! I'm Mauritanian and really you are doing a great work there. Thanks a lot!
Keep up the great efforts.