Monday, January 21, 2008

Asalaa maalekum!

So much has happened over the weekend! I moved in with my family, took a car rapide for the first time, and went into the actual city of Dakar.

My family is wonderful - they are VERY nice and I already feel very at home.
They've even given me a Senegalese name - I am now Astou.

Senegalese homes are VERY open, which means that lots of people come and go all of the time. As a result, I am still trying to figure out who exactly lives in this house. This is my family as far as I can tell:

The head of the family: Papa Sow - works for US AID and speaks English very well.

Then there's my mom, who does some sort of secretary work (I forget what exactly) and she also runs a boutique (which is connected to the house).

She has 4 children:
Isaa - 20 years old (male)
Mama - 15 years old (female)
Dame - 11 years old (male)
Rose - 8 years old (female)

My mom's sister also lives in the house, and she has 3 children, but one of the girls is currently studying abroad in Fance. The two living in the house are:
Habib - 18 years old (male)
Mimi - 18 years old (female)

There's another cousin who lives with us her name is:
Bijous - 22 years old (female)

There are also 3 maids that live with us:
Saly - I think she's about 18 years old
Coumbua - She's around the age of 15 or 16
Seynabou - She's only 13 years old

The house is huge: it's at least 4 stories high and I have a bedroom that is about as big as my room back at home. I also have my own bathroom (which includes a toilet and a shower and a sink).

On Saturday all of the students went downtown. We were split into groups of about 4 students and we each had our own guide. Ours was named Oscar and he took us through the crowded market, and showed us some important sites - like the president's palace, the national assembly, and the art museum. We also saw the Catholic Cathedral, and the Melinnium monument.

I'm working on posting pictures to facebook (for those of you that have it) and I will work on finding a way to put the link on here so that everyone can see my pictures.

I have to say so long for now though, because I start classes in a few minuets.

Ba Beneen Yoon,


Kim said...

Hey Kelly,
Oh my, your description of your family and their home is nothing like I expected. It sounds like a pleasant surprise. I really didn't think you would see a real shower for months! Keep well and thanks for blogging.

I will keep you in my prayers. Kim

Liz said...

Hi Kelly!
We miss you at C group. Sounds like you are having quite the adventure already.

I look forward to hearing more...

B.Mullett said...

Hi Astou, Sounds like a really interesting family and nice place to be staying. Keep up the great attitude and we will keep praying for you. Enjoy. Much Love, Grandma M.

Dannielle said...

Astou... pretty name.
I am glad you sorted out who was who. I was not doing to great a job at it just looking at the facebook album.
I hope you are a good week. Your family sounds great.

Aunt Tammy said...

Glad to hear everything is going great! It took me a while to figure how to sign up to post messages or I would have written sooner. A boutique attached to the house sounds like my kind of living! Love you!

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