We are settling in…

Check out my Facebook page for ongoing photos from Dakar: https://www.facebook.com/kristine.t.michael

I’ve had two full weeks of working at ISD and so far so good! The first week was new staff orientation, the second week was full staff with all the normal meetings and PD things that need to happen before school. Unfortunately, the middle and high school construction got a little behind, then you throw in Ramadan , where most of the workers are fasting all day and moving slower than usual (I can’t imagine not eating or drinking all day long and trying to work in the scorching heat!), along with some additional holidays, one of the hardest rains that has been seen a quite a while causing some flooding, difficult shipping and customs issues, and we are going to start a few days behind our regular schedule. Instead of opening ceremony on Tuesday, it will be on Friday. The first day for students is a week from tomorrow, rather than Wednesday. The staff is being flexible, the workers, project manager, and operations manager are all working themselves crazy.

The building is looking great and those last little details (like classroom flooring) will be done and everything will look amazing. The views of the Atlantic Ocean are breathtaking. I sometimes can’t really believe the kids and are going to a school with the ocean so present. For a land-locked Ohioan, it’s pretty amazing.

Eid is the holiday that has earned everyone a day off. You can read more bout it at this website. http://www.tunisia-live.net/2012/08/19/eid-around-the-world/

Hot water heaters were installed Friday–yippee! While I had not been missing the warm water while it’s been so hot, I was ready to be able to do water without having to boil the water first.

No dishwasher here. I have a great washing machine, that came from South Africa, that really spins the laundry dry. Then it gets hung up to finish drying, either inside, if it’s raining or outside on a line. It gets finished off with an iron.

Some things here are really mind-boggling, but most things are just different enough to be really interesting all the time. Walking from our home to another staff family this afternoon, we passed a mercedes SUV, a horse and cart carrying an assortment of mismatched items, a little row of cardboard and tin huts with women cooking over an open fire, the Cuban ambassador’s home, lots of construction, and big puddles from last night’s rain.

once their we chatted, kids played, puppy romped, and the visit was finished with homemade pie!

We went to a beach today that Guy and the kids have visited a couple times while I’ve been working called Verage (spelling butchered, I’m sure) Beach. You turn right off a round-about onto a dirt road that has a sharp edge that you’ll bottom out on if you aren’t going slow enough. Then you make some bad French small-talk with the three young guys who “watch” your cars. You’ll need to pay one of them about 300 cfas ($.60) when you are ready to leave. You then slowly traipse down a hillside that would make the billy goats gruff balk, make some more small-talk with the man who has a small seaside restaurant perched on the hillside to ‘rent’ one of his umbrellas and mats (or chairs with cushions) (you’ll pay him 1500 cfas ($3) on the way out, he knows you are good for it, and he watches over your things while you are swimming, wading, or surfing. The beach is smallish and has two rock jettys on either end of it and a modest hotel in the middle. On one side of the hotel, there is a surf school called Cococabana, as well as some other little dwellings that I didn’t quite determine what they were.

The tide was high on arrival but on its way out after the first hour. The sand is rock and shell free, except for a couple visible larger rocks when you first approach the water. The water is blue-green and see-through. You can walk a LONG ways out and still have it only be up to your knees, with great waves to body surf on. Children of all ages, families, and many people with bogey boards ( a couple surfboards) were enjoying the waves.

Even though the day was very hot, once your feet were submerged, the warm water, and cooler ocean breeze made everything lovely. You could go in and wade or body surf until you had your fill, go back to your mat to sit in the shade or sun, drink a ton of water, read a book, and once you started getting too hot about 30 minutes later, start all over again.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book that the Dakar Women’s Group will be reading for the end of the month. I’m thrilled to have a book group here and have started reading the book, one I’ve had on shelf for a couple years.

It’s 8:53 and my boys are so worn out from our day at the beach, that they’ve been sound asleep for almost half an hour.


About bestbookihavenotread

Kristine has been in education since 1993. She taught fourth grade in Ohio from 1993 - 2008. She has been a Curriculum Coordinator for four years. She is relocating to Dakar, Senegal to be the Director of Curriculum for the International School of Dakar in August 2012.
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3 Responses to We are settling in…

  1. Juli says:

    Yay, sounds like you are settling in.

    I haven’t read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo yet either. It’s been on my to-read list for years!

  2. Karen Treece says:

    This is like reading an adventure novel. Keep the chapters coming!! We love you.

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Karen Treece says:

    Want to face time at five? or now?

    Sent from my iPad

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