The following is a profile on my host mother and Gambian namesake who cared for me during my two months of Peace Corps training. She not only welcomed me to her home, but folded me into her family — worrying and fussing over me as if I really was her daughter. She is quite the character and an inspiration for my service.
The neighbors called out and soon the little path outside my family’s compound was full of townspeople and buzzing with excitement as everyone searched for the moon. Through the pink clouds in the evening sky, a faint hairline of the moon shone through, a sign that the month of fasting could finally end.
Finally, on a day all the volunteers met up for training, a pitter-patter sounded on the tin roof above. Within a few minutes, our presenter became inaudible so we dashed out of class and into the downpour to celebrate with a rain dance of our own!
Sweat leaked down my cheeks and off my nose although I stood in nothing but my underwear. It was eight days after arriving in country — only the fourth with this family — and my Gambian sisters were stripping me bare below the corrugate iron roof that absorbs the African heat.
My sisters say their goal is to make me so fat I am unrecognizable when I go back to America, so everyone will know how great Africa is. I’m doing my best to counter their evil conspiracy!
I’m not sure exactly what to expect, other than the experience of a lifetime. I likely won’t have regular access to electricity; but don’t worry, I plan to update my blog with many stories each month. I will set them on a timer, so that you see fresh content every week and never miss a beat! Thanks for your continued love and support.
But neither the time nor miles seemed to matter. I reconnected with many friends and family and we picked up where we had left off, so to speak, and caught up on all our misadventures. When we weren’t swapping stories, the best part was to just be — like old times.