A Week in the Village Life

Here are a few short videos from this week!

In between the morning school session and lunch time, my host siblings and I usually color and listen to music in my hut. Earlier this week, it turned into singing some songs they had learned in school – I think I have 15 videos of the classic hit “One, two, buckle my shoe” and another 10 of the Gambian National Anthem (stay tuned for future posts) because they love watching themselves sing. “Ali! Natalma!” – “Ali, take a picture of me!” and then “Ali, ma set!” – “Ali, let me see!”

On Thursday morning, we organized a Nutrition Workshop at the Master Farm. 25 Community Birth Companions (CBCs) and members of the Care Group in my village met and talked about the importance of using the food from your garden in your food bowl (A spin off of “Farm to Table” – “Garden to Food Bowl”). People grow lettuce, tomatoes, onions, carrots, pepper, and much more, but sometimes end up selling it all instead of eating it. Here, the Master Farmer is explaining how he leaves the straw around his tomato plants to help the soil, but also to hold the worms that his chickens like to eat. He explained the importance of mixed farming – not just growing one vegetable – and the benefits of including poultry and eggs into your diet.

On Friday morning, we had a similar workshop with 12 Village Health Workers (VHWs). A woman in my village taught the VHWs about her mixed farming – she raises chickens, turkeys, quail, ducks, rabbits, goats, and more – and again the importance of selling some for a profit, but including some in the food bowl for nutritional purposes. She explained the benefits of animal housing, both for their health and to keep them away from your family’s food, and how to get chickens immunized and keep them healthy. It was awesome to see a knowledgeable businesswoman debunking some of the negative horticulture practices seen here.

On Friday night, the Math and Science club at the school hosted a fundraiser where the students competed in spelling, dancing, singing and eating! My host brother, Sutay (Grade 8), took first place in the spelling competition, winning with a speedy “Photosynthesis.”

(I know you were all dying to see the progression of my hair growth over the past 5 months. You’re welcome.)

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