Friday, July 16, 2010

The Home Stretch

Major power outages have delayed this post, only a week and change left! (I am afraid to actually make the countdown, I love me some Africa)

The America countdown has begun. 15 days left and I will enjoy every one of them. I hope that I will be able to make it back here one day and there are tons of things that I will miss but Senegal has opened my eyes and my brain and thats all I can ask.

Last week I went to the Gambia. It was a great trip. The journey was long. I took a sept plas (station wagon car with 7 passengers and a driver) to the border and took cabs and a ferry till i got to some random spot on the side of the road. I arrived and stayed with this girl Maggi and this guy Jeff, they are peace corps volunteers and let me crash at their house in the city of Fajara (in Kombo, near Banjul). We went out, I explore town a little, pretty low key first night. I ended up getting seme delicious fresh honey from Jeff. Then i went to the village with a girl i had met in Dakar at a concert named Jessi. She was so amazing and we had an incredible time hanging out together. I honestly learned more about how to be a good person chilling with Jessi in her village for 3 days than i have in a long time. We played in a river and went to some meetings and i saw the school and the health clinic and the water pump situations and a beehive and tons of other places it was nice and green and relaxing to be sans electricity. Sidenote: Dakar in july has had really terrible electricity. Out for hours on end all week at work.

Back to the gambia. Staying with us in Jessi's village of Sibanor was this girl named Danielle. She is pretty great too and is an excellent cook. She, along with Jessi's homestay mom, gave me a cooking lesson. Sidenote: i am in the process of making a Senegalese/Gambian recipe book, stay tuned.
It was Danielles birthday on friday so we went back into town, i went shopping all day (gambia is like 1/3 the price of senegal), went to the beach, and then i made fried chicken wings for danielle's birthday. That night i stayed at this girl jasmine's house with Jessi and Jasmine and i went out to the club, Lebanese men bought me many drinks. je ne sais pas.
Went to an island the last day, and hiked for a few hours with all of my gear (mistake) and then took a septplas home. Gambia is more low-key, and different from Senegal in some ways (british vs french, small country vs w/e Senegal is etc.) but people and life is pretty similar all in all.

Now that its my last few weeks in Africa I am both freaking out that i didnt do everything cool and i am thinking of how awesome america is. i miss baseball and family and friends but i love the little things about here so much. the public transportation and delicious fish are up there on the things i will miss most. i hang out with Jenna a ton these days. Shes extra smart and wonderful in many ways.

The health project looked like it was going to revive itself magically (i had a good meeting) but now i think AMLD has bigger plans for the project and does not want me to try to make it happen really fast. Which is too bad, i was getting pumped for a few days. But its OK. I dont know.

I got a great postcard from Kate. Shes awesome. I also got an amazing package from Cammy, who knows how much I appreciate the art. And of course momma and poppa have sent me some awesome packages filled with american supplies. Thank you all so much.

Bissap is purple. Sugar is sweet. Senegalese livin is awesome. This trip has been a treat.

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