poor decisions en route to tokyo

poor decisions en route to tokyo

I’ve hit rock bottom so many times in so many different countries, you would think that I had this whole “travel” thing figured out. Well, as it turns out, rock bottom has a basement. I found this basement in Tokyo. Poor decision #1: For some reason, I thought arriving at the Seoul airport one hour before my international flight would be adequate. My flight left early in the morning, and I was on vacation. Who wants to get up at the ungodly hour of 6am on a Saturday? Not me. So I slept. I realized about halfway through my train… 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 2

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 part two of three 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… 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

cry baby

jaxanke, pulaar, peace corps, kedougou, volunteer, senegal, west africa

I have the unique experience of being the eighth Peace Corps volunteer living with my Senegalese family. As a rule, village sites in Senegal have volunteers for six years (which means three different volunteers live with the family) before the site is closed and volunteers are placed elsewhere. Cities however are an exception to this rule. There is no exact cycle of volunteers in the cities, and APCDs (Associate Peace Corps Directors) can choose to place volunteers in a city for as long as they deem necessary. Thus, my family has been hosting volunteers for over a decade. It is… read this post

learning to say “no”

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I hate saying “no”. And I am not the only one… as Americans we are hypersensitive about asking favors—even from close friends or family (or maybe especially from them). Usually we extend  a favor before we have to put someone in a position to ask us. When I actually gather up the courage to request a favor (big or small) it is because I absolutely NEED something. Otherwise I wouldn’t ask. The opposite end of this is that when someone I care about asks me for something I rarely say “no”. I figure they would only ask if they really… read this post

don’t call her toubab!

One of my biggest frustrations going about my daily life here, is constantly being referred to as a “toubab”. “Toubab” literally translates as “outsider”, “foreigner” or basically “white person”. And it is usually yelled by children along with requests for money or a gift. Being an Urban Ag volunteer means that I face a lot more “toubab” yelling kids than my fellow volunteers who are placed in small villages. Usually I just ignore the kids, sometimes I tell them in Pulaar to shut up and that my name isn’t “toubab”. Last week though, I was walking back from my favorite… read this post