Yesterday afternoon, a group of volunteers and I jogged over to the soccer stadium with a group of Senegalese Peace Corps workers to play a game! It was nice to get out of the training center and get some exercise in. The local players were pretty amazing, and I'm going to need some work on my ball control skills! It was a blast to get out there and play though!
Today we learned some gardening skills so that we can plant gardens in our villages when we get to our sites. USAID sponsored the Peace Corps Senegal Food Security Initiative which involves starting school and community gardens and providing nutrition training to students. I learned how to double dig and climbed a neem tree to gather leaves to add to our soil amendments which also included manure, coal, and ash. We sifted manure and created tree sacks for our pepiniere. It was great to learn about gardening since I didn't know much before coming here.
I had a moment today while we were all circled around the manure and sand, creating our soil, where I realized how happy I am to be here and how much I'm going to learn. I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, and I'm going to learn so many new skills in the next couple years. I still can't believe this is my job.
We also learned how to repair a bike today, which I kind of knew, but it was good to learn more about the bike I'll be riding for the next couple years. In my tech interview a couple days ago, they asked me if I felt comfortable biking 20 miles, and I said that was fine...hopefully that's not how far I'll be biking to my nearest neighbor!
Tomorrow I find out what local language I'll be learning, so I'm excited! Once I know the language, I can start guessing which region my site will be in! So far, I've been able to hang out with Americans every day since we're all together all the time at the training center, but starting Monday, I'll be living with my training host family and will probably start feeling more of the culture shock. So far I haven't felt homesick, but I think that's because I haven't had a chance to feel lonely or isolated yet. That being said, I am anxious to meet my host family and start to feel more apart of the culture here. I've only been away from home for a week, but it feels like so much has happened. More to come!