Explore Your Country

There’s something incredibly special about watching your loved ones accomplish their firsts. Their first time eating ice cream, swimming in the ocean, seeing an airplane. While for most Americans these milestones happen early in life, some Gambians never get to experience these simple, yet magical moments. So, in my last week in The Gambia, as I watched my sisters check off a few firsts, each moment made a lasting mark for each of us.

Hawa, Jainaba and I joined 22 other girls and Peace Corps volunteers in an epic week called Explore Your Country. Not only did the girls enjoy these outings, they also had the chance to visit the higher education institutes in their country, shadow professional Gambian women doing their jobs and learn how they too could have a brighter future. The week coincided with my final time in The Gambia, making the program even more special for my girls and me.

Talking to my sister Hawa about her goals and dreams.

Talking to my sister Hawa about her goals and dreams.

Time for ice cream! It was the girls' first time to try this treat and it was a hit on the hot summer day.

Time for ice cream! It was the girls’ first time to try this treat and it was a hit on a hot day.

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Yum!

It's been confirmed. A piggy back ride is the best way to plunge into the ocean for the first time in your life!

It’s been confirmed. A piggy back ride is the best way to plunge into the ocean for the first time in your life!

Me and Hawa

Me and Hawa

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The girls even got to see a plane take off on their first trip to the airport.

The girls even got to see a plane take off on their first trip to the airport.

My sister Jainaba talking on the radio.

My sister Jainaba talking on the radio.

Spa night!

Spa night!

All dressed up and ready for the ball.

All dressed up like princesses ready for the ball.

Hawa and Jainaba

Hawa and Jainaba

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Facing fears at the monkey park!

Facing fears at the monkey park!

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H

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Henna!

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Sisters. <3