The Return of the Blog!

Dear friends,

I’ve been quite silent over the past month or so. There is a good reason for it!

For those of you who checked in around December of last year you’ll remember that I landed a sweet position as Assistant Professor in a super department at a wonderful university.

Well, my son and I moved into our new digs at the beginning of August and have spent the past few weeks trying to figure out how to navigate our new surroundings.

We LOVE our new neighborhood. We also have eaten more than our share of the very famous culinary delicacy since arriving—went to the Anchor Bar a couple of weeks ago. I had the Suicidal variety. For someone who loves the “Fire” pepper sauce (an amazing Senegalese condiment made out of pure chilis) that Ndeye used to give me when we lived in Madison, “suicidal” is a misnomer.

I love my office and my colleagues and am soooo… looking forward to sharing all that I’ve learned in the classroom and beyond with my students. I love telling people what I teach: “Cool!” followed by a nodding of the head. Yes, very cool.

So, while last year’s theme was documenting my adventures as a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State, this year I’ll be focusing on disseminating information about fellowships, conferences, opportunities, etc.  around Africa and its wonderfully vibrant diaspora.

Inevitably, I’ll throw in my own little adventures living in this incredible city and beyond; first of which is, I’ve been riding public transportation a lot since my arrival. There are two things that I’ve remarked so far: 1) all the bus drivers I’ve had have been people of African descent and 2) the ridership overwhelmingly consists of poor people. Granted, the schedule sucks and if you have someplace to be it is not the most efficient way to get there. On the plus side, the bus has been on time every single time I’ve taken it and it’s relatively cheap (soon to be $1.75 no matter where you want to go).

The public transportation system is pushing to increase its ridership. It has streamlined its fare options and is trying to get the word out. There are also many parking lots around town marked “Park and Ride” where people can park their cars and ride the bus or connect with their carpool.

But, unless they increase the number of buses and maybe widen the area that the routes cover, then I can’t see things changing too much in the near future.  Kinda sucks for me because anyone who knows me knows that I don’t really enjoy driving (gotta a few angry honks when I drove home today—what’s the big deal about switching lanes in front of someone and making him hit his brakes??—shouldn’t have been driving so fast, I say).

So, back to this year’s mission: I get a ton of information about things going on around Africa and the diaspora and am always just itching to share the information with others, even if I don’ t know who they are. You benefit from my need to share.

It is only right that you in turn, share the resources you find here with others in your circle—and so on and so on…

If you have information you’d like me to post please send it along as well.

Check back often!

Peace to you,

Toni



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