One week in! We’ve been living the high life with french fries, chicken, wifi in the Peace Corps office, and a short (albeit sweaty) run to the beach.
Traveling from the one plane at the airport to our compound with 34 other Americans and 3 bags of luggage each was our first lesson in privilege. Zippers bursting with clothes, snacks, electronics, and everything in between filled trucks with the Peace Corps emblem on the sides. Faced, once again, with the clear reality that we just have a lot of stuff.
Over the past few days, we’ve gotten immunizations, signed forms, talked about safety and security in village, and met the most amazing Peace Corps staff. From our Country Director to our LCFs (Language and Culture Faciliators), everyone has been an invaluable resource in this transition time.
Tomorrow afternoon, we leave the Kombo (metropolitan region around Banjul) life for our training village upcountry (away from the ocean). I have been placed in the Wolof language group with 6 others, and will be learning the business language of the Kombo, Upper River Region, and Central River Region for the next 8 weeks! It will be a crazy, immersive learning experience with these people who are quickly becoming my good friends.
Today was the bi-monthly day of cleaning in The Gambia. From 9 am – 1 pm, no cars are allowed to operate. No people are allowed to work. It is a time for tea drinking, socializing, and cleaning. A quick mental check on the last two weeks and the two weeks to come. A time to stop and realize how very cool our world is.
My next update will include some Wolof!