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.
My dad has been pestering me for months to tell him everything I know about poultry. I tried to explain that I’ve already told him what I know: Nothing. I know absolutely nothing about poultry. “Hate to break it to you dad, but you were sent a Peace Corps Volunteer from Las Vegas and the only I thing I know about chicken is that it’s often served at buffets.” My dad didn’t seem to like that answer. So, I began looking into what I could do to help. Afterall, so much of my job is teaching myself new skills so I can teach others.
It’s difficult – impossible, perhaps – to describe what it’s like to see a child bride. I’d heard countless stories of young weddings … stories from people I know, people I call “friend and “sister” even, who had been married off as mere teens. But stories just aren’t the same. The stories weren’t the same as talking to a 15-year-old girl dressed in her wedding outfit instead of her school uniform on a Monday morning.
Open wells don’t make safe drinking water, but they can make a pretty picture! I’m lucky enough to live near a tap where I can easily fetch my water, but many people in The Gambia still find access to safe drinking water to be a challenge. Nearly 22 percent of households use unprotected wells like this one for drinking, according to UNICEF. Luckily, my neighbors in this compound and many other people in my village know open wells are unsafe and opt to wait in lines at a covered hand pump or tap instead.
I decided to invite my new site mates who just so happen to be agriculture volunteers to help me. I also asked the four grade 10 students who attended Camp GLOW (Girls and Guys Leading Our World) if they would be interested in teaching the gardening skills they learned there. Luckily, everyone was on board and my school-garden training was born despite my lack of a green thumb!
While many Gambians opt for the two-piece complet, I personally prefer the African dresses because they are the breeziest in the heat. Traditional Gambian dresses are typically flowy and floor-length, and often have poofy, ruffled sleeves and flamboyant embroidery.