Ants in my Pants

Hello everyone I hope you are well. I have had an eventful past few weeks, full of ups and downs. The hot season has arrived here in Senegal. Most days the temperature reaches well over 100 degrees! A few weeks ago I was feeling extremely weak, lethargic, and dehydrated. Naturally I attributed this to the extreme heat, but when I started to have stomach pains and bloating I knew something was up. It turns out I had intestinal parasites! Pretty gross I know but the Peace Corps doctors knew exactly what to do. With their instruction I bought anti-parasitic meds from the nearest city(Tambacounda) and was feeling better in no time. The medicine cost me 8,000 Franc (about $16). It made me think about how hard it is for big rural Senegalese families to afford medicine. 50% of the people here live on less than $1 per day(~500 Franc). Medicine is a luxury not many have access to.

Once I was feeling better I went South to a volunteer’s site in the Kolda region. She was organizing a soccer tournament for middle school girls. Four teams competed with music blaring and villagers watching. We volunteers each “coached” a team.

My team, all wearing Juventus jerseys, made it through to the final but lost in an epic penalty shootout. It was awesome to see the girls have a chance to play soccer and have fun. I presented my team with the second place prize.

Later that night we were getting ready for bed and discovered one of our tents was completely infested with ants! They were everywhere and the bites really hurt! We had to scramble to move the other tents and try to salvage the sleeping situation. I am glad to be headed back to my own bed at site, hopefully ant free.

The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.


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