So been about a month out of site. From vacation in the Gambia to training the new group of education volunteers. Training has been fun. A good time to catch up with some from my group and getting to know the newbies. There are 17 new education volunteers in G18 and they're all doing really well.
The Dream Team :) G16 girl trainers at the toga party.
Some G18ers at the toga party.
The TEFL trainees and me.
I went to visit my host family from when I was in training last year and like last year, walking in our neighborhood, once my house was in sight, my little sister, Dalanda, runs to me and jumps in my arms. A nice thing to walk home to :) So she hadn't forgotten me and neither had the rest of the neighborhood and family. It was really weird seeing how big all of my little siblings got- kind of actually made me realize that I've been gone for over a year. Very surreal. My then-baby brother now walks, talks, and dances. My mom was really excited to see me and it was a really good time because I actually had my first conversation with her. She only speaks Pular, so now I could actually understand and carry on a decent amount of conversation with her without going through my little sister as a translator. Very cool. Mind you, it's always the same conversation about where I've been, how's the family, etc. So once you know certain vocab in Pular, you can carry on about 80% of conversations.
The family was awesome, I brought them some pictures from last year which they loved. Then they invited me to dinner the next day. So I went with my friend Kim and my mom had made us fries and a meat... which was white (not chicken) and the consistency of scrambled eggs? Our best guess is that it was brains. And yes, we felt smarter after eating them. And after that we felt sick. No, not really. But pretty gross. We ate it tho, like the good Guineans we've become. We didn't discuss the possibility of what it was until after leaving, which I think was a good idea. Ha. Before I left training again, I went and had dinner again with them and my neene had made my favorite meal from training that she used to always make for me after I fasted with them on Sundays of Ramadan. Very sweet.
Other than that, it's been fun getting to know the new trainees- one will be my neighbor- another hour ish bike ride away, so looking forward to welcoming him to our neck of the woods.
Lis, me and Kevin, our new neighbor.
Went to the Catholic church in the town where we do training and it was very cool. One thing I love about Catholic masses is you can go to them anywhere in the world and pretty much know what's going on. Though, there are some local touches that just make it that much more special for the outsider. When carrying up the gifts, they not only carried up the money collected, but a group of 4 women carried up plates of local foods they've grown as the community's contribution. They danced up the aisle to the beat of the song while carrying peanuts, manioc, eggplants, etc. Very cool.
I got to go to the waterfall again with the new group. SO much more water than last year! So not as much under-the-waterfal exploring done this year, but still a good time swimming around and hanging out in the middle of the HUGE rapid flow of water.
Cascade de la Soumba.
Trainees have two more weeks or so until they swear in as official volunteers! So that's exciting. I'm heading back to site on Tuesday, si alla djaby. Excited to get back to the Fouta and my town. Hoping to finally get to working on the school's library. THEN! I'll be heading back down country to pick up STEF! Woohoo! So keeping busy and all over the place before school starts sometime in mid-October.
That's the latest from me.
Lots of birthdays coming up, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all of you! (Alice, Roho, Allie, Dad, Pop-pop, Stef) Sorry if I forgot anyone and love you all! Hope it's the best bday yet!
And John- BON VOYAGE! Safe travels en France and j'espère que tu es prêt pour ta grande aventure post-université!
Love and miss you all- keep in touch!