WAIST 2005 — Part #3

Almost to the end of this. This one is about as long as one and two; it’s amazing.

2005/02/21 — Monday — Day 4

Semi-final: My team
was eliminated by losing all of our games, but the good team had won
all of theirs except the first (against Team Asia) which they tied.
Going into the semi-finals their first game was against Team Asia.
Both teams were undefeated, so they both needed to lose twice to be

The game was pretty interesting, but it
was clear that our team was just better. My memory of the whole thing
is a little fuzzy. This was my third day operating on four hours of
sleep or less, and that with the alcohol leaves most everything a

Samich: We had some of
our Senegalese brethren show up for our game since we’d told them it
ought to be entertaining. Among them was Leah and after the game we
headed back to the Arc en Ciel to get some sandwiches. Like most
everything else, the conversation is something of a blur. At some
point I discovered she was an excellent horseback rider and that she
had a sense of the Middle East as a “spiritual homeland.” She likes
trance and electronica, but doesn’t know the names of any artists. Oh
yeah, she prides herself on her normalcy. I practiced being normal
since it seemed a good idea while hanging out with someone who values
it. Unfortunately, any time I try to do anything, I start thinking and
if I’m not really careful I start asking random questions. FYI, Leah
has never punched someone in the face, nor has she ever been
especially inclined to. ☺

After samiches she gave me a hand in my
search for alcohol. There is a Score supermarket near the American
Club that carries all the major types of cheap whiskey: Black, Club7,
Dark Molly, Bony Old Man… We had, over the course of two days,
emptied their stock. A liter of Black costs around 2200cfa ($4.50). A
liter of Johnny Walker is about six times that much. I was looking for
effect since as long as I live I will never buy whiskey for the taste.
So we hopped on a route taxi and went down to a gas station she knew
of, then back for the last game well supplied.

Championship: The last
game was against Team Asia again since they needed to lose twice to be
eliminated. The coaches considered briefly rotating in the second
string and increasing the chances of losing the game since that would
have left us with a final game where either team stood a chance to win
the championship. It was eventually thrown out as being sort of
insulting since there was really no way they were going to win against
the first string and it would be just postponing the inevitable.

To be honest the game was less engaging
than last year because the teams were not evenly matched. The final
score was something like 19 to 9 which is a slaughter in softball. I
don’t really enjoy heckling people who are losing. Team Asia’s
supporters had a good time however. Since there were probably a
hundred Peace Corps volunteers standing around cheering the taunts
tended toward personal hygiene, lack of utilities and gastrointestinal
afflictions. Everything stayed friendly though which was nice.

Drunkenness: In honor
of our last game pretty much everyone was shitfaced. My stomach was
really not pleased with me when I told it more whiskey was moving in,
but there wasn’t an outright revolt. After the first little bit I was
too busy running around yelling to really notice feeling nauseous.

For me drinking is as much about
permission as actual intoxication. I don’t know if I like that or not,
but it’s true. I’m not normally really comfortable acting like an
idiot, but if I’ve got a bit of a drunk going on I can sort of
separate actions out as part of drunk time and not have to have them
be a part of sober Will’s identity. It sounds sort of immature, but as
I think about it I like it. It means that people can count on getting
one set of more reserved and responsible behaviors normally. Then for
party times I can be looser and less responsible, but it is contained.
That I might integrate these two, I guess is possible, but I don’t see
any real reason to try for it.

Case in point, there were big bags of
chalk that had been used to mark the field on the sidelines. I got
into it and came out covered in chalk up to my elbows. I then went
looking for something interesting to cover in chalk. Our t-shirts were
white so this didn’t offer much potential. One of the members of our
staff, Cheikh, was there and he was decked out in a full suit; dark
brown; perfect. I walked up to him and gave him a nice big hug leaving
two huge white handprints across his back. In mere moments he was
transformed from a run of the mill softball spectator to a unique and
intriguing work of art, and I told him this before wandering off to
find something else black to hug. He liked it though, no permanent
damage done and it included him in fun that he had been mostly
watching to date.

My next target was a little less
amicable. Alice taught me that apparently an equitable exchange for
the soiling of a black fleece is the emptying the better part of a
beer into the offender’s pants. Lesson learned, and I’d run out of
both chalk and desire by that point.

We won the game handily and took the
field in a huge rowdy mass. We pulled Cheikh out onto the field and he
got carried around by the crowd for a bit. There was much rejoicing.
After things calmed down a bit it was decided there should be an all
Mauritania mostly naked game and we retreated to the American Club
with this purpose in mind.

Pool Time: Someone had
locked the field and so naked softball was canceled. I somehow got
involved in a rather unfortunate game which has no name and only rule:
try to whack people in the balls and avoid being whacked yourself.
Does this seem like a dumb game to you? It does to me. Unfortunately
even if you don’t want to play you don’t have much choice when fellows
are looking to damage the family jewels.

As the day progressed even girls got to
join in the fun. It didn’t have quite the same pain factor, but titty
slapping was decided upon as the target for the ladies. One of my
favorite stories is from Kim later in the evening. She had been
playing the ball game and was a bit intoxicated. She asked a friend of
a volunteer visiting from the States to take her picture. He decided
to be cute and instead of taking a picture of her and her friends, he
took a picture of himself. Forgetting momentarily that not everyone
was playing the game, she walked up to him and drilled him in the
nuts; dropping him to the floor. I reckon the poor guy learned not to
mess with Peace Corps girls; they don’t fuck around. ☺

I was hanging out with some of the
Senegalese volunteers doing my best to converse casually while
protecting my privates when Carl and Lewis decided that I had far too
many wearable clothes, carted me to the pool and tossed me in. Last
year I destroyed my Peace Corps id jumping into the pool with my
clothes on. Fortunately, my passport, which was in my pocket, was of
more resilient construction. Most of my stamps are now doubled on the
facing page, but it is none the worse for wear.

Nap Time: At this
point I am wet, tired and a bit stressed from having my manhood
imperiled. I want nothing better than to go back to Mwavi’s, curl up
and take a nap. The only thing that would have made it a thousand
times better would be to have someone to do it with. Leah was at the
pool and I really wanted to ask her, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t
want her to think I was trying to get her back to Mwavi’s to ravage
her. (Not that the idea wasn’t enticing, but I really did need a nap.)
In the end I just asked her and she turned me down to meet up with
some friends. I got distracted though and before leaving decided to
give it one more try, and amazingly she accepted.

So we went back and fell asleep for a
bit and it was oh so nice. I’m a big fan of snuggling and whatnot.
People just need to touch people sometimes. After a while she headed
out to go get dressed for the evening and I went back to do the same.
I didn’t do a terribly good job of it and fell back asleep for about
half an hour.

Dibi: The meeting
place for the evening was a place that makes chicken dibi. I’d seen
“dibiteries” around and when I asked them what they were they made it
sound like a butcher. Well, it turns out that a dibiterie isn’t a
butcher, it is instead a specific style of Senegalese cooking. The
chicken is done up with spices and mustard and grilled and it smelled
really tasty. I was just woken up, late and hung over, so I didn’t
eat. It is on the list now though of stuff to do on my return.

The girls were, as a group, looking
quite impressive. Leah had on a very flattering black and green
outfit. Myself, I was wearing a Diesel shirt specifically chosen by
my fashion consultants (aka. the British girls) to make me look sexy.
It was indeed a fine looking shirt, but completely the wrong feel for
accompanying a girl in a slinky black dress. In particular when
coupled with my jeans, the last pair of pants I had that were neither
split nor wet from being thrown in the pool. The jeans were arguably
workable with the shirt under normal circumstances, but I’d recently
in these jeans and so they were quite grubby.

Soirée: The soirée was
5000cfa to get in. It was fun though: seeing so many old and new
friends. The dance floor was absolutely packed. During a good song you
couldn’t help but dance since if you tried to hold still the people
around you would move you. As was normal for most of these events,
beer was included in the cover, so most everyone was tanked yet again.
I just wandered from conversation to conversation, and then onto the
dance floor. It is mostly a blur&hellip

I remember hanging out by the pool with
Ben who had his MVP award tied around his neck. After a bit someone
took it from him and threw it in the water forcing him to dive in to
get it. I remember losing Leah for a bit in the crowd and having
someone tell me she was on the dance floor. I came out to find her
dancing with Carl and I told him to keep his hands off her or I’d kick
his ass. I remember telling the story of my dad getting drug along a
barbed wire fence by his horse, and rather than comic it coming off
morbidly violent. Round about 2am they kicked us out and Leah and I
hung out for a bit longer before finally calling it a morning.

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