My parents had no way of knowing what populations of people I'd be working with when they named me "Adrianne." I absolutely LOVE my name, but it doesn't seem to be very trans-lingual. I have since decided to be called "Adriana" (a name that's much more easily pronounced in the Portuguese Creole tongue), though I have also answered to "Blanco" and "Catel" within this last week. There aren't very many white people (blancos) in this area. If you see a white person, they are very likely either a French nuns or they are one of the 5 of us that live in Catel. Sometimes, I feel like they might as well call me "fresh meat." I'm the greatest new thing since the last new white people that came, and children shout my name constantly as I walk down the path. I'm the white person who doesn't know Creole yet, who can't weed rice fields correctly, and who doesn't know how to buy things with this strange money.
I've been here I week now, it's probably time to introduce you to my surroundings. I flew from D.C. to Dakar and then took a ferry from Dakar to Ziguinchor. There are 8 bunks per room in the ferry - it apparently doesn't matter if you are male or female - enjoy your ride (It just so happened that I was the only girl in a room with 7 guys)!
Because of the slow internet, that's the only picture I can post for now. Sorry to disappoint. My room, pictures of the scenery and my friends will come later. I promise.
I would be remiss though if I signed off before telling you a "funny thing of my week." The first night here, I prepared to take a shower. We have an outdoor "room" with a bolt lock that you can take a bucket shower in. As I was bolting the door, the handle part of the lock came off. I was successfully bolted inside the shower room.
I decided to go on with my shower and figure out how to get out of the room later. Later came (as it always does), and I still didn't know how I was going to get out of that stinkin' shower room. I eventually had to call for someone to hand me a wrench, so I could finagle the bolt part out of the latch. The experience was sufficiently embarrassing, but we all had a good laugh.
I intended to be somewhat regular with my posts, but as it turns out, my internet access is limited. I will probably only be able to post once a month, but keep checking back!