Sunday, June 22, 2008

Assalaam Aleykum!

Hey all! Bet you didn't think you would be hearing from me so soon. I definitely didn't think I would have internet access this early in stage, but there's actually wireless here at the training center. Go figure. It's a little weird being able to contact people after preparing myself to be cut off, but this level of communication is not going to be maintained over the course of stage so I might as well take advantage while I can.

Just something quick for now: we got to Rosso yesterday after about 24 hours of travel. I've been covered in a thin (sometimes thick) layer of sand and sweat since then, despite showering last night. We're all just getting used to being constantly dirty, and some other fun little things like no toilet paper (we have something called a makaresh instead; picture a tea pot). It's been awesome. I didn't really know how I would handle being in a place like this, but my trip to China was a great way to ease into living like this.

Despite all these major adjustments, my being here hit me in the simplest of moments. There is a large tent in the "yard" of our compound (it's basically a sand pit). It's pointed like a circus tent, white on the inside and stitched with this really amazing, vibrant quilting on the inside. Underneath the tent are rugs and some thin pads we use as mattresses, and people tend to hang out under there during breaks. The wind picks up clouds of sand and blows it over the rugs in the afternoon. So I'm sitting under this tent, watching the sand blow, and I was just like, wow, I am so in Africa right now.

Ok, I have to run to an interview now. They're getting a feel for where they might want to place us, so this should be interesting. I'll post again soon though. Bye!


Sandor said...

You always did like sandboxes

Nicole said...

And a Malekum Salam right back at you! Yay for Africa and that "I am so in Africa right now" feeling that never really goes away. I visited home last weekend and I saw a beautiful long skirt at Eastern Market that I almost bought to send to you. But it was $80 so I passed.

You are definately nowhere near this point but if at any time you find yourself in need of chocolate/comfort food I highly recommend Chocoleca (think nutella with peanuts instead of hazelnuts) and Biscrem cookies. If its anything like Senegal, you can find them at almost every boutique around. Inchallah, things are going well thus far. Can't wait to hear more!


beatriz said...

Glad to hear you are there and all is well. What a wonderful moment in time for you. Love you Elise.