Today, I celebrate my first year of Peace Corps service. While it certainly has been a bumpy ride, it is one I will never forget….
A harmony of prayers echo around me as I reflect on these first few days of Ramadan. While I myself am not a Muslim, nor religious at all, it is beautiful. It is as if the chorus of voices sing the Arabic phrases — the only melody the usually-bustling village will hear until the moon is full again. Impromptu dance parties, wedding ceremonies and even naming babies are all on hold for the month devoted to prayer and worship.
My host father is a man of few words. But when he does speak, they are words of wisdom. When he speaks – people listen. In honor of Father’s Day, here are some quotes from the man I proudly call “Baba.”
We have our “work” friends, our “church” friends, our “college” friends — each group perhaps knowing us a little differently than the next. It’s not that I’m trying to suggest I’m fake or two-faced, it’s just to say that we all naturally fulfill roles and play different versions of ourselves depending on the script. I think it is rare to find a friend who transcends that – someone who is just your “friend” – no qualifiers needed. After some months here, I didn’t expect I’d ever find that in one of my Gambian friends. I thought our cultures are just too different, our views too varied, the divide in our lives too great.
But then there is Habbie.
The thing I once despised is now at the center of nearly all my dreams: Grocery shopping. I used to loathe the chore and would make a detailed list before entering the supermarket so I could quickly grab what I needed and get out of there. I’m not sure why I hated grocery shopping so much, maybe it was how quickly I could rack up a bill or the number of overwhelming choices, but I just never cared for the task. Now that grocery shopping is a thing of my past, it’s all I can dream about. Funny how that works! I now awake on many mornings remembering my nighttime fantasies of perusing aisle after aisle.