shit my senegalese dad says

senegalese, dad, father, african, peace corps, family

Meet my Senegalese Dad, Weliba. He is a husband (multiple times), teacher, and father to countless children. He speaks mumbled Pulaar infused with French. He also insists on beginning each of our interactions with the phrase “Rokia, my daughter” and what comes after is usually highly amusing. Dad: Rokia, my daughter, why don’t you do sport? (He means “exercise”) Me: Because I don’t want to. Dad: But it is necessary. Some day you may need to defend yourself. You know, like from an attacker. Dad: Rokia, my daughter, I noticed you slept with your door open last night. You must… read this post

a (somewhat) patriotic song

Sung to the tune of America the Beautiful For cheddar cheese, for hairdryers For beautiful clean clothes, For gro-cer-y stores, oh so big and triple shot la-ttes! America, America How much I do miss thee! But very soon, I’ll come home to you Across the shining sea! Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are mine alone and do not represent the positions or views of the U.S. Government or the U.S. Peace Corps.

melanie’s book club

Peace Corps 214

No TV. No Internet. What’s a girl in West Africa to do? Read! The following is a list of the books I have read/am reading. And I will continue to add to it during my service. If you have a book you loved, tell me, chances are we have it in one of the Peace Corps regional house libraries and I can read it. Then we can write letters back and forth about the book (or skype). It will be like Oprah’s book club. Only better. Three Cups of Tea – by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin The Kite… read this post

i’m not a bitch, i just play one in senegal: part 3

There is no nice way to put it. I am kinda a bitch in Senegal. Blame it on the fact I have become jaded by creepy Senegalese men. Or the reality that 90 percent of my daily interactions are not in my first language which forces me to be incredibly blunt (ahem, rude) so as nothing gets lost in translation. Or maybe it’s just the heat. Anyways, here is the final installment in the Senegalese Bitch Monologues. These scenes demonstrate how my hardass level has achieved new heights. In all three of the moments I had to sit back and… read this post

i’m not a bitch, i just play one in senegal: part 1

There is no nice way to put it. I am kinda a bitch in Senegal. Blame it on the fact I have become jaded by creepy Senegalese men. Or the reality that 90 percent of my daily interactions are not in my first language which forces me to be incredibly blunt (ahem, rude) so as nothing gets lost in translation. Or maybe it’s just the heat. Anyways, for the next three weeks I bring you the Senegalese Bitch Monologues. These scenes demonstrate how my hardass level has achieved new heights. In all three of the moments I had to sit… read this post

things i do instead of updating my blog

As my loyal readers have probably realized–wait, I have loyal readers? Probably not. Except my Mom. Hi Mom. Ok so let me start this again… As my pseudo-imaginary-probably-nonexistent-loyal-readers have probably realized, I am pretty awful at keeping this bloggity-blog thing updated with my slightly psychotic ramblings. I wish I could use the excuse that I am saving starving African babies, but I have kinda overused that one (note to self: make up more excuses). Also, I don’t know anyone who is starving. And most babies scream their heads off and/or shit their pants whenever they catch sight of my pasty… read this post

so this is mama

senegal, child, kid, girl, little girl, senegalese

So after a long and difficult transition–I’ll spare you the details as they involve a lot of boring Peace Corps logistics and me turning into a slight alcoholic for 3 months– I have moved in with a new host family in Kedougou. Life is good. I drink a little bit less. And my crazy level has stabilized–at least for now. Also, I have a new last name now. You can call me Rokia Diallo. I’m sure I will be writing about my new family often, I’ll begin by introducing you to my little sister, Mama. She is my bestie and… read this post

brangelina got nothin’ on me

Hey Brangelina you think your fame is bad? I’m telling you, you got it easy, try living two years in a tiny African town. You see, I’m kinda a big deal around here. When I walk down my street the children scream “Rokia”–in the parts of town further from my stomping grounds I get “toubab” but hey, it’s still recognition. Old women clap their hands and cheer as a pass by on my bike. Men give me the solemn head bow (like the Senegalese equivalent of the ‘sup head nod). I can‘t go out in public without creating a huge… read this post

my abusive boyfriend

Senegal is a boyfriend that treats me bad. He makes me feel small and helpless, unable to control even the smallest things around me. Want clean clothes? A nice warm bath? Something different to eat? Too bad. Senegal controls all that. I am at the mercy of his whims. He takes his toll physically as well. I have spent days curled up in pain on the ground outside my latrine because of the ailments he has thrust upon me. And rainy season is a constant battle against infection from Senegal inflicted cuts and scrapes. And he makes a fool out… read this post

africa: we are not breaking up, we are just on a break

Dear Africa, So here is the thing  you are really special to me.  But after a year and eight months I think it’s time we take a break. You see I have started to become reliant on my weekly mefloquine fix.  Without it my dreams become sub par and my extremities regain feeling. I have begun to accept public urination as a perfectly acceptable behavior.  In fact, I have even been known to cop a squat behind a kinkiliba bush.  This is bad.  Very very bad. Also, we are having some communication problems… the words “nice, fine” are not an… read this post