As many of you may know by my overuse of facebook in the past two weeks, I was in Senegal getting my arm checked out. I've been having wrist pain on and off since training, but only in the last three months has it been my right wrist, and now my right elbow and shoulder. The orthopedist and neurologist I saw feel that they ruled out all the "bad" reasons for my wrist pain, and that I gave myself tennis elbow when I was bracing my wrist while writing on the chalkboard. So now I need to become ambidextrous, do some PT exercises, and wear a forearm band. Luckily, I am already partially ambidextrous due to a lifelong desire to become so, as well as 3 months of college spent practicing writing with my left hand. Some people doodle in class, I wrote the alphabet. Anyway, we'll see how things go when I get back to site. There is the option, should I push for it, of getting a steroid shot, but that's not a long-term solution, and Peace Corps isn't a huge fan of it. At this point, though, I only have 3 months of school left, so I would be OK with a short-term solution. It looks like I'll just have to deal with the wrist pain and wait to get it further evaluated when I come back to the US. I don't feel like this is bad enough where I should end my service over it, but I do have to consider the risk of giving myself a chronic condition. All in all, not an ideal outcome to two weeks, but not all bad either.
Dakar was ridiculous. It's clearly an African capital, because there are the bustling markets and the hustlers of tourist-priced goods and the incredibly cheap local food....but there is a definite Western feel as well. I ate ice cream and cheese daily, I went to the mall, I went to hospitals that looked like hospitals, I went to restaurants with menus that serve everything on the menu. In short, I was totally spoiled and lazy and ate everything I wanted to. It was so much overindulgence, actually, that I am looking forward to returning to my scrambled eggs and bean sandwiches and eggplant sauce. Also looking forwards to running. I only brought flip-flops with me! Landing in the Conakry airport last night, I found that I was really glad to be back in Guinea. As the PC car drove me to the bureau, the lights piercing the dusty air and the candle-lit boutiques and the cars going the wrong way on the trash-littered street, I couldn't help but grin. Hey, it's a shit-hole in Conakry. But it's my shit-hole.
Going from Dakar to Conakry feels like going from a Mondrian painting to a Jackson Pollack. I'm not sure what artist Tanene would be characterised by, but I can't wait to get back. Today I'm going to do some computer-based tasks and get myself used to the heat again, and tomorrow a.m. I'll head back for my last 6 months of service! Time flies when you're having fun! (or always out of site...)