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.
Despite the challenges Habbie has faced in life, I have never seen her without a smile. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders in the work I do although she does not work at the school; she has a genuine desire to see her community and country grow. She recently made the brave decision to start sharing her story at Peace Corps leadership camps so she can encourage girls to “never give up.”
Habbie is my host country hero.