I fail to explain what Christmas is to my host family. They end up thinking I’m going to some American party. Slightly annoyed at my language capability, I bike the six kilometers to the nearest main road and catch a bus to Tambacounda. At least I can spend Christmas in the company of some fellow English speakers.
It has been slow going at my site so far. I spend my days greeting people, sharing their tea, and making attempts at meaningful conversation. The good news is everyone is very excited to have a Peace Corps volunteer in their village. Besides meeting and greeting I try to get a sense of the agricultural activity in my area and what potential projects could be beneficial. I arrived during the middle of peanut-harvesting season so everyday people are out in the fields. Besides peanuts the villagers farm corn, millet, and sorghum. There is a five hectare women’s garden where they grow vegetables. One family also has a mango and cashew orchard still in development. Overall I believe my community will benefit immensely from an increase in tree planting and environmental awareness.
Perhaps the most difficult part of adjusting to life here is the food. The meals are monotonous, rice and peanut sauce is a staple. The only light at the end of the tunnel is that mangoes will ripen in a few months and we will be swamped with the delicious fruit. For now we eat mostly rice, squash, corn, and fish from the Gambia River. Sometimes I find myself so hungry I can’t help but daydream of American food. That said I feel very healthy, biking long distances most days and playing soccer in the evenings.
Now that I’m in the “city” of Tambacounda for a few days I can gorge myself on chicken, and have a few beers. My thoughts are with everyone back in the states. I hope you all have a happy and healthy holidays and here’s to great new year!
The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.
3 thoughts on “Happy Holidays From Senegal”
I can imagine how impossible it must be to attempt to explain the craziness of what our Christmas traditions have become to the people of your village. You are deeply missed here at home and your spot at the table is waiting for you in December, 2020……we love you and are so very proud of what you have done and learned in a few months. Wishing you a healthy and happy 2019!
Hi Adam, wishing you a Merry Christmas & a Happy & Healthy New Year! We’re all thinking of a you not only this holiday season but every day. Mike Kristen & Sydney arrived for a Christmas visit & your Mom & Dad will B arriving Christmas Day! Wish you were here & keep up the good work!
Aunt Gloria & Uncle Al
Hi Adam, enjoyed reading your blog here in Scotland. I know through writing to your mum that she’s very proud of you. Keep up the good work and enjoy the chicken and Beer when you can!