So, my Senegalese family decided to name me, Aicha (Aisha?), after one of the wives of the prophet Mohammed. I am quite honored because it's a name that comes with a lot of dignity and respect. My family here consists of Mama Oumi, 5 brothers, 1 sister, 1 cousin, and 2 nephews...I think. I'm not sure because, in Senegal, people are constantly coming in and out of our house. I think it's partly because the little white girl from Utah has become quite a spectacle here. My nephews will literally just sit and stare at me for hours. In other family news, communication has been fairly easy. I got lucky (or unlucky, depends how you look at it really) and have a brother who speaks fluent English, French and the local language Wolof. He mainly tries to speak to me in French though but is definitely a good translator for when the whole family is speaking Wolof and I just stare with a dumbfounded expression on my face. My family has been incredibly hospitable and literally try to do everything for me. It's been a challenge to tell them that I can handle getting a bucket of water for my bucket bath by myself. Oh yes, bucket baths. Give me a bucket, little bit of water and some soap and I'm good for weeks! Truthfully though, I really don't mind taking them. I am here to see and experience how this culture lives and that means participating in every detail that I can.
I'd like to talk a little about the way family and my daily life works here in Senegal. We typically get up fairly early and have our baguette and coffee. I then ride my bike (if you don't hear from me for a few weeks it's because people here drive like maniacs and mowed me down) to my language teacher Assane's house. We typically have French for about 3 hours then I go home for lunch. Lunch is pretty much always rice, vegetables and fish. After lunch, more language which can eventually turn into a little American culture lesson for our teacher. He now knows how to say "what's up" to his homies. Dinner in Senegal is delicious. We usually have rice again, some random meat, and more vegetables. The sauce here is really spicy and fantastic and they put it on everything. In between meals I try to get to know my family and become comfortable in my new situation.
There are definitely good days and bad days just like anywhere else. I will be getting along great with my family, loving the food, speaking lots of French then have a dream about being home and come crashing on down. Overall though the people are very happy to have us here and respect the work that we are trying to do.
I know that I had more to say but my brain is on overload right now. I'll try to write more next time but for now, thanks for following me for the journey of a lifetime!