I have now been in Sal exactly 1 week. It is a desert. It sort of looks like Mars (not that I know Mars, but I imagine they are similar:little water, dusty, rocky, flat, appears uninhabited at first glance).
What I´ve been up to my first week at my new home:
- Sweating excessively because the sun shines 14 hours a day and there is no such thing as shade.
- Going to work at the Camara (see below in ´WHAT AM I DOING HERE?´). 8-12 then again 2-6. Sort of like a 9-5 job, except with a longer lunch break.
- Relaxing in my apartment, a big nice 3 bedroom 2 bathroom affair with electricity most of the time, running water with really really low pressure, a sunny hot balcony, and a cockroach infestation. (Our place is really sweet though, so call when you are coming to visit!)
- Going to the beach! I´ve only gone swimming once so far, we went to Buracana on Sunday with some awesome girls we made friends with in the praca. How we made friends: Jacky approached the girls and said in broken kriolu `Hi, we are new here and want to make friends.´ It was fate, they rock.
- Running. Yup, I´ve started running again. Santiago had an evil dog infestation, but here I can run freely, so I run along one of the 2 roads leading out of town towards the coast, Pedro da Lume. I´ve even met a running buddy, Matizia, so hopefully I´ll be getting back in shape slowly but surely.
Oh yeah, so WHAT AM I DOING HERE? ~I´ve been asking myself that a lot this week too. My original assignment was Environment Education, but after a bit of site rearrangement I was sent to Sal (a super modern, westernized, toursity island with NO National Parks). I work at the Camara (the local government offices). My exact job is still unclear, and will probably be a 2 month process to discover it, but so far I work with the Youth, Sports, and Social Programs department. So I sit around and watch everyone work, and try to understand what is going on. And what they are saying (Northern Kriolu is was different). They seem to be doing some cool stuff with youth at risk, senior citizens, handicapped persons, welfare programs, professional schooling, and sports programs, so I´m pumped. Its not exactly the mud-hut, no lights, just rice`Africa Peace Corps´experience that myself and all yall back home may have imagined, but I think it will be tud kul (yes they stole our word cool and changed the spelling and make it sound way more hip).
Hope everyone´s great, sorry I´ve been crummy at updating this, I promise to be better!!! N teni sodadi pa Ann Arbor! xoxo leah
P.S. Here´s my NEW address: Leah Tai, Camara Municipal do Sal, C.P. 141 Espargos, Sal, Cape Verde