The cockroach game is not only a catchy title (I'm sure it at least made you stop whatever you were doing, eh?) but also one of the many daily adventures that I have here in Senegal! Yes, I am afraid of nearly all insects but cockroaches instill a special level of fear in my heart. I'm pretty sure that they are immortal; this is where the game part comes in. If you stomp on one and then lift your foot, it miraculously runs away! They also tend to sneak up on you when you are most vulnerable. This is typically when you're squatting to use the Turkish toilet, getting ready to bucket bathe or really anytime when you are indisposed. If you wash one down the drain or toilet, oh, it will crawl right back up. And did I mention that they aren't afraid of humans whatsoever? One jumped (yes, jumped, or maybe flew, whatever those creatures do) right down my shirt the other day which resulted in me squealing hysterically before flinging it out of there. The cockroach game is by no means any fun, but it is one of many we get to play here in Africa.
In other news, my last few weeks at my first Senegalese home are winding down and I definitely have mixed emotions. One part of me can't wait to move onto my permanent village, begin to get settled in, and start working on projects. Another part of me, though, is going to really miss my first family. From my little 3-year old nephew just straight up vomiting on me mid-sentence to my brother attempting to teach me chess in French (a game I don't even understand in English); everyday is an adventure for me here. I've developed a strong bond with my mother here. The other day she knew, without me saying a word, that I was feeling a little down. She proceeded to come and sit by me and just held my hand. She didn't need to say anything, that small display of affection was enough to comfort and calm me. It's weird how much I miss human contact but I come from a family that is very affectionate so to not have that daily reassurance is slightly disconcerting. When this human contact doesn't work, I've found that I can escape to the roof of my little home. Up there I can "do my exercises" (aka dance around like a maniac to alleviate my stress a bit) without any interruptions; other than my nephews sneaking up to laugh at me from time to time. Moral of the story is that I've finally found my routine here, only to be uprooted again, such is the life of a Peace Corps volunteer.
I think I'll end this here by just saying that I officially swear in as a Volunteer in less than 2 weeks! I'm excited, nervous, scared, relieved and a whole bunch of other things. I'll be sure to keep you updated as it gets closer.
In the meantime, as always, thanks for reading!