Pointless

Guediawaye Travel Blog

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I arrive at the World Vision early only to wait again. I'm getting used to the pattern on getting nothing done in the morning. Well, at least nothing that I need to be there for.

I manage to talk a bit more with social workers Agnes and Mme Kabou. We talk religion (they're Catholic), and I find out that Mme Kabou's husband is studying in the States for his PhD. I feel like I have a bit more familiarity when talking with them, which makes it somewhat easier.

We have so much time to kill. I run out to buy a banana for breakfast. The ladies share their bread with butter and fish spread, and allowed me free access to the coffee table. At least I had lots of time to finally get a filling breakfast.

Yvette arrives and brings us into her office to start organizing and getting to work. I hung out in her office while the other ladies made phone calls, read important documents, and sent out tons of e-mails. Yvette asks me how things are going, and I try to quickly think of an intelligent answer. It just feels so awkward to try to have a conversation with her. But, at least she's nice enough to deal with my oddities and let me just sit around and learn from her VITALIS staff.

We have lunch on the roof with all the other women who work in the World Vision office (no men, mind you).

My afternoon mission is to get out by 5 p.m. so I can get some actual work done today, like e-mail or outlining my practicum paper. The goal is to avoid yesterday's arrival time of 10:30 p.m. when I had no time to do anything else. So I constantly try to slip in hints that I need to split earlier than normal (so we should get going to Guediawaye to visit the daaras ASAP).

We finally leave the offices by three in the afternoon. Great. So by the time I drive with them to Guediawaye, I just have long enough to help them drop off a large trash bin at Cisse's daara. Then they send me in a cab back to the city. Because Germain never has enough small change, I always end up giving him some of my money to pay for transportation.

I finally get back to Dakar and grab a ride to Suffolk to try to use the computers without having to pay. I walk in the door of the computer lab. I sit down. I pull up my e-mail. The power goes out. UGH.

I listen to Rothany vent for a while on how she's been molested for the thousanth time. Amanda tells me they had no luck on going back to see our tailor at HLM again. The power is still out. I can't stand waiting anymore, so head to the nearest internet cafe.

Great. Money wasted on taxis, internet, and a drink I had to get to make me feel better. After four hours, the power is still not working. I pull out my flashlight to use the bathroom without slipping and breaking my neck.

My aunt makes me come hold my flashlight while she cooks dinner so I can illuminate her food. I am so sick of them taking advantage of me and all my stuff. Especially since none of them have really taken the time to get to talk with me or get to know me. They simply expect me to just give them my stuff. I mean, it's not like this is the first time the power has gone out. She has had to cook by candlelight in the dark before. Not a new or impossible situation.

They pull out the mat for dinner. As I am putting my stuff away in my room before eating, they motion for me to keep the flashlight for dining. I am not wasting my battery on this when I am in a country where I can't find another if it dies. I put my foot down and say 'non.' I'd rather eat by candlelight anyway.

The one enjoyable side of the evening was when baby Binta was running around us towards the end of the meal. She threw my flip-flops in my direction yelling, "Toubab! Toubab!" I know we're not supposed to call children here cute, but it was adorable. Pointless, like the rest of my day, but at least cute.

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