NGO Yenta

It is Friday morning here, which means that I do not have classes. Permenant three-day weekends are both great (free time!) and terrible (boredom, probable hatred of my host siblings with school on Friday). But on this particular week I am very, very glad for this setup because it allowed me to sleep off the remainders of a disgusting intestinal ailment that struck Thursday morning.

I do not know what I ate that disagreed with me, but it did so with gusto. As a result, after coming home from school yesterday, I had a four-hour nap. Then I was back in bed at 10:30 and slept for another 12 hours. I was awake for maybe 12 hours of yesterday. I feel better, though still not up for competitive eating.

(As an aside, I learned this week that if I am in my room with my lights off, my host mother just assumes I am not home. She didn’t realize I was in the house for the four hours that I was asleep yesterday. Whoops.)

I leave Monday for my rural visit. I’ll be staying with some employees of APROFES, an organization that works on women’s empowerment in a way that’s less development-cheese than that sounds. In particular, I’m interested in their role as a facilitator of that process–most of what they do is talk to women who would like funds/assistance of the NGO variety, find an NGO that is equipped to provide those funds/assistance, and put them in touch with each other. They’re like a development yenta.

During the visit I’ll be staying with a host family in a villiage outside of Kaolack, which is about a four-hour ride away by sept-place. The sept-places are van taxis that you take from the downtown train station–you go, buy a seat, and wait until your sept-place has all of the seats bought out before leaving. Since there’s a big group of students heading in that direction, we should be able to buy out whole sept-places at a time, which will be nice (as it minimizes our waiting time).

The train station has been described to me as one of those places that’s full of people and noise and grabbing of your person/your luggage. So, basically everything I hate about being toubaby and visible in Dakar. Should be interesting. I plan to hide behind my classmates because it will be 7:30 in the morning on at Monday and sometimes I just don’t want to deal with getting people to stop touching me.*

*I am so hilariously terrible at this. When I’m at clubs I just do this strange bird-dance with my elbows pointed sharply behind me so that the men who approach crotch-first for unsolicited dancage get poked in the ribs and leave me alone.

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