Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Miss Running Water

A couple days ago, I was in Cassie's village pulling water from the well for her (a favor I do out of respect for the ruralism of her site).

The large and heavy basins of water on my head, I'm used to. In fact, I can generally carry it back to her hut with minimal spilling now. However, the other day, an angry cow was thirsty and I spilled quite a bit of water while saving my spleen from be impaled by a cow horn.

Spilled water means another trip to the well, dead trees, or no shower - all bad situations.

It was one of those moments when I wished I was in America with a hot shower...and no cows

Byron Yee
Peace Corps Volunteer - Senegal, 2009

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lost in an African Forest


I went to visit a new PCV in my area (Thanks Em!). The visit was fantastic and a lot of fun. The bike ride back home? Less fun...

Hobbits can tell you that a shortcut also leads to a longer road. Confirmed.

Within 20 minutes, I lost the sand road I was following, biked through some rice fields, and ended up in the forest. Oops. But I finally found a village again and got pointed in the right direction.

8 villages and 3 hours and 15min later, I finally made it home. Unfortunately, it was after dark, but fortunately before hyenas come out. Next time, I'm taking the paved roads, even though its a "longer trip"

As always, so sorry to frighten you, mom, but I swear aside from fatigue, dehydration, and some cuts and scraps, I'm ok ;)

Byron Yee
Peace Corps Volunteer - Senegal, 2009

Cassie’s Mom Visits Senegal!

Last weekend, my wonderful sitemate and equally wonderful mother came to visit me and my family in Karang. Quick highlights of our day:

- Walked to our big community garden and farm field. Luckily it was a cooler morning
- Received a gift of cheeze its and homemade cookies!
- Got a new pair of Chacos delivered to me from the US
- I killed a chicken in honor of our special guests. (my first slaughered chicken ever)
- Ate a very delicious lunch of Yassa Poulet
- Lots of hugs

So overall, it was a pretty fantastic day and an awesome visit. Thanks for visiting Kay, and safe travels (and health) on your way back home. I promise I'll return the favor and visit you someday.

Byron Yee
Peace Corps Volunteer - Senegal, 2009

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Close Encounters with a Chicken

The other day, a chicken was eating from our lunch bowl, so I snuck up behind it and gave it a very satisfying kick.

Moments later I realized my foot and pant leg were covered with its poop. Gross, but now I can officially say:

**Pardon the language**

I literally scared and kicked the shit out of a chicken!

Byron Yee
Peace Corps Volunteer - Senegal, 2009

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shoutout to Peace Corps Med

Dear PC Medical office,

I'm very grateful and thankful of your support and access to our medical needs.

Specifically, thanks so much for the Pre Natal Vitamins I was just sent. Even if not the most appropriate mineral supplement, I'll still take one daily "before, during, and after pregnancy." Although I confess, I'm only capable of following a 3rd of those directions. (Hint: I don't think my body is menstruating and to my knowledge am not the parent of a child)

Anything in the name of staying safe and healthy, I guess...

Byron Yee
Peace Corps Volunteer - Senegal, 2009

New Years Resolution

If my NY res was to be busier and more productive this year, I think I just fulfilled this goal within the year's first week. Here's a summary of what I just did:

1. Hosted the US embassy and Senegal's local TV for filming a documentary on PCVs. It was a very intense and frustrated 2 days as I was working with a Senegalese TV crew with low tech equipment. So cultural differences and general misunderstanding got in the way.
2. Speaking of miscommunication, how about learning some Pulaar? This would be my 4th local language I'm learning, of which I've mastered none...
3. Just finished digging 500+ sq meters of improved garden beds with my community garden team.
4. Launched 5 new school gardens, with lots of help from Cassie. (thanks dear)

So as today is officially a sunday, I think I deserve a day of rest...

Byron Yee
Peace Corps Volunteer - Senegal, 2009

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bonne Annee & Dewenati!

My New Year's celebration was celebrated close by in Toubacouta with just a handful of other PCVs.

The day included a 22km bike ride, 2 beers, a 45 min. nap, half a chicken for dinner, and an immeasurable amount of whiskey. Not that quantifying any of my experience is important...Also, the infamous song "Aude Lang Syne" does NOT translate into Wolof very easily.

Here's to a year of even more exciting and unknown adventures.

*Also a quick shout-out to Garrison's dad, who apparently reads my blog. Just to let you know, your son is in good hands and in the care of a fellow theatre major :) Although, knowing what your theatre son is already like, when you hear that there's another, you may be LESS vs. more comforted...

--Byron YeePeace Corps Volunteer - Senegal, 2009