I desperately needed a pedicure. I mean desperately! I should have taken a “before” picture, but it truly was too embarrassing. My feet have taken a beating since coming to The Gambia because I am always in sandals, or worse, barefoot. Now that the dry season has come, the calluses on my heels hit an all new-level of gross. But, silly me, didn’t bring a pumice stone! So, Gambian pedicures it was for one girl weekend in my friend Mish’s village.
Video: Several kids from the neighborhood, along with my brothers and sisters, crowded in around me with so much anticipation that I couldn’t even open the box. When I finally was able to light one of the sparklers, they were so amazed it was as if I had actually brought Las Vegas fireworks to Sibanor.
Never in my life have I felt comfortable talking about body functions. But this is Peace Corps. And now, my most frequent topic of conversation is about poop. And since I know you’ve all been wondering, let’s talk about poop.
I finally caved and gave into my lifelong hatred of cats.
The stray neighborhood cat was purring incessantly outside my bedroom window and after hours of sleeplessness, I finally decided to get up and see why it was crying so loudly. It was, after all, my fault the cat was homeless and hungry in the first place.
Although a big river divides the country in half, an alarming number of Gambians don’t know how to swim. Superstitions and traditional tales have even inspired fear about the river and the crocodiles that hide in its waters.
I usually sleep through the 5 a.m. call to prayer, having finally grown accustomed to the faint mutterings from the faraway mosque. But it’s never long until I’m forced awake anyway. My family, of course, owns the biggest cock on the block and the rooster never fails to crow at sunrise.