Everyone is curious to what my life is really like. I’ve written on tidbits of life here, and gone off on philosophical tangents, but have never really sat down and tried to piece together my life here in The Gambia and explain it in a post.
Is it a life changing experience? Sometimes I feel like nothing has changed, but then I reflect back on the past or home and realize that it feels like nothing has changed because the change has become an everyday part of my life. It has become normal.
My work has been very hodge podge lately. There is the Junior Achievement award, a class teaching entrepreneurial skills to high school students, that I am now technical advisor for. But now I am waiting for the second half of the class to start, called the practical, where students get money to create a business for 6 months, so my time has freed up for now. Then I’m teaching computer classes to a few hospital workers, trying to eventually get them to be able to keep electronic records. I’m also getting involved in a credit union that is trying to be formed combining several villages’ finances and I want to form a class like Junior Achievement for younger students.
But for me, although the job aspect is important, I think the foreground life is my everyday life in the village. I do my job here and there on a looser schedule than we are used to in America, so a lot of my time is going around village and hanging out with people. I wake up in the morning, and usually buy bread and mayonnaise from the local store owner, Abulai. Abulai is becoming one of my friends and we chat it up for a little and next to his bantaba (a bench under a tree). There is another bantaba where a woman who sells meat pies, fish wrapped in flour and deep fried, right next to Abulai and I greet her and chat with her and the women posse for a bit. The women posse include this women, Umi, an older lady, a few girls from the compound close by. Then I usually check on the hospital, and on my way stop by Sarr kunda, a compound where one girl named nene, a four year old who always runs fast as she can with a big smile everytime I come by, lives. She might be my best friend, haha.
So as you can see, much conversation happens, and it continues all day, with hospital staff, family and other compounds. Work happens in between these conversations. I’ve also starting to get involved in village activities from school parties to sowing in the fields. Okay, I’ve only went once to the fields so far and it was to sow peanut (not the hardest thing in the world), but I plan to do more.
So that’s life in a nutshell for me. I wish I could just let you see life through my eyes to better communicate all this…
Okay, my time here in the ‘big’ city is done and I’m back off to my village to start anew, rested and with fresh perspectives.