Most of you had probably never heard of The Gambia, the smallest country in West Africa, before I started bombarding your Facebook timelines and e-mail inboxes with updates from my time here. The Gambia, while small, has been making waves internationally ever since I arrived in country. We are in the midst of making earth shattering, historic changes that will affect the future of this country and everyone in it, including the family that has welcomed me into their home. Peace Corps remains an apolitical entity in The Gambia, but it cannot be denied that a transparent election and subsequent transition of power is a monumental step in the democratic direction. However, change is never that easy.
Due to the political drama around the upcoming Presidential Inauguration scheduled for January 18th, the US Embassy and Peace Corps has decided to consolidate all of the Peace Corps The Gambia volunteers to the Peace Corps training center in Senegal, about one hour outside Dakar. This is precautionary, and we are hoping for a peaceful transition of power and our subsequent return. We are heading across the border today, and I will keep you posted along the way!
An appropriate excerpt from the First Lady’s Farewell:
“So don’t be afraid, do you hear me? Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope. Never fear. And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.”