I leave for Senegal in a few hours! The woman I am staying with is an RPCV who served in Ivory Coast. Since she was one of the first groups to go there, they had their pre-service training in Senegal, actually at the same center where my malaria conference will be. There has been talk of political unrest and possible demonstrations in Senegal, so I was worried that the conference might be cancelled or postponed. But we received emails from the Senegal post assuring us that we won’t be near any demonstration sites and will be kept with Peace Corps the whole time.
One thing I have experienced multiple times here, meeting many people who aren’t American: people will talk to me about very personal things as if we met longer than an hour ago. I have had people bring up in friendly conversation their divorce, family tragedies, the time they hit and killed a woman, and guilt from trauma.