Alec Yeh senegal 2010

"When you're challengedÉa different side of you is exposed. I want to be able to show my community that with just a high school diploma, with just one year there's so much you can do."

Malaria – “the biggest problem in Senegal”
April 24, 2010

Every once and a while, I’ll sit next to Seck to observe a consultation. But for the first time, I sat in the patients’ seat, facing the ominous head nurse. Fortunately for me, I was only sitting there for an interview, and not for health reasons. “My last question. What is the biggest problem in Senegal?” “Malaria,” he responded without hesitation. I hadn’t been in Senegal for very long when that question was first asked. And I really didn’t understand why malaria was the biggest medical problem in Senegal. I mean, so we get some people with malaria every once…Read the rest »

April 14, 2010

Fanta is so freaking amazing. I had this great conversation with her last night after dinner. It always stems from food. She’s always asking me what food I like in Senegal. But then she stops me halfway through and says, “Okay okay. What don’t you like in Senegal?” And this happens all the time. That’s how all our conversations after dinner start. But this one just kept on going. We started talking about her history. We talked about what jobs she worked. We talked about what she wants to do in the future. Just talking to her, it made me…Read the rest »

Campements, Awa, Mangroves, and Peace Corps: The March Monthly Meeting
April 14, 2010

It was our last monthly meeting, and this one took place down south. The theme of this month’s meeting was environmental conservation, so the big activity was the tour of the mangrove system. I’ll explain more about that later. But we had already been to the area before, when we had to make that Gambia border run. The Campement We stayed in Toubakouta overnight during our little trip and it worked out really well, so we did it again this meeting. Not to mention Tons just has tons of connections. Apparently his cousin runs the campement (like a hostel), except…Read the rest »

Sakho at Valda Pharmaceuticals
April 6, 2010

Rachel would be so proud. Mat, being incredibly lucky and sociable, met this man named Sakho at the bank in Rufisique. It was serendipitous. It turns out that Sakho is the head pharmacist of Valda, a very large pharmaceutical company that actually has its headquarters in Rufisque. And so Mat, Ananda and I made our very own contact. Mat brought us to the Valda headquarters to meet Sakho. Walking in, I was shocked. It was a gated complex that was more official than anything I’ve ever seen in Senegal. We got to the gate, and the security guard had to…Read the rest »

Balla Gaye vs. Modou Lo
April 1, 2010

Senegalese wrestling is a long-standing tradition. In fact, it’s not really “Senegalese.” It’s more African as a whole. But it’s their national sport, and everybody here loves it. Everybody. Even the old ladies. Including Fanta. She loves wrestling apparently, and I find that really hilarious. I can just imagine her getting really into it. But wrestling is EVERYWHERE here. You’ll hear kids saying, “Lutte, lutte, lutte.” You’ll see kids wrestling in the sand in the middle of the street. Half the time I can’t tell if they’re playing or if they’re seriously fighting. Some of the kids get really hurt…Read the rest »

Next on Mythbusters: Green Card Lottery?
April 1, 2010

The green card lottery: myth or truth? They could put that on Mythbusters. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s been long said that the US holds a green card lottery. But whether that is true, many people don’t know. Since it’s not like a prize that they announce the winners of each year, people never actually hear of anybody winning. So most people assume the green card lottery is just a myth that the US government made up. What motive would they have? I don’t know. Perhaps to give people a sense of hope? But in fact,…Read the rest »

Knowledge is Power
April 1, 2010

I’ve begun teaching Oule’ye French. It’s a little peculiar that I would be teaching her French considering how angry and upset I get teaching Muhammad French. And it’s also peculiar that I would be teaching French at all since I’m terrible at it. But, then again, Oule’ye has never had a formal education, and she desperately wants to learn. And how can I say, “Oh no, I’m not qualified to teach you anything,” when in reality, I know more French since coming here than she will probably ever know. So I agreed. But that slowly began to include Muhammad. Except…Read the rest »

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