Senegal

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Marsha L. Allen (Senegal 1984–86)
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Innocence Melts Obstinacy

Marsha L. Allen (Senegal 1984–86)

Monday, November 21 7:03 pm DURING MY TWO YEARS I learned many things: A new language, how to adapt to a new culture, how to cope with the sometimes intense and almost unbearable heat, and more importantly, I learned to make life for the people there a little easier. I learned to care about a group of people who thought of me as their daughter, their sister, their friend. I learned to laugh with them and cry for them. I learned the importance of being with them for the good times as well as the bad. I learned both patience and persistence – two very important factors in the life of any Volunteer. I also learned all about that feeling you get when it’s time to leave. That sinking feeling in your stomach. The one that makes tears swell in your eyes. It’s that same feeling that makes your heart . . .

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Innocence Melts Obstinacy

The 1997 recipient of the Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award presented by PEACE CORPS WRITERS for the best short description of life in the Peace Corps. • Innocence Melts Obstinacy by Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993–96) IN THE MARKETPLACE OF DAKAR, Senegal, amid the welter of vegetables, chickens, dried fish and shouting women, a small boy leans against a crumbling wall staring into space. His bare toes knead the sand; the rags he wears flop around his skinny frame. A gang of older boys push and shove their way past him, turning to jeer. The boy leaps into a ninja position, hands like scissors, knees bent on rigid legs. He must have studied the nearby movie poster where a ninja film had been showing. His eyes are fierce and belong to the world of warriors. The older boys laugh and walk on as the child glares after them balefully. His . . .

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