Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mikey's Gift Registry

I have been asked by people, “What can I send you?”  Well here is a list of things you can send.  There are things that I have forgotten that I know I will remember as soon as I get back to my village and I sit down hungry and wish I had (enter anything delicious here). Food is important, I eat a lot.  I eat my three meals with my family and then supplement it with lots of local peanut butter, crackers, jam, and any other food people send me or I buy in the city.   I seem to continue to lose weight, I don’t really seem too concerned to weigh less than 190 lbs now.  On a recent hiking trip I mentioned to some friends it’s a lot easier to hike when you lose 70lbs.  This list will change constantly and be updated.  So check in on a regular basis.  If you do send foods, put it in ziplocks and package it well so nothing will puncture the package.  Besides food there are other entertainments I could use.

Sunflower seeds- any flavor but hot
Granola bars- odwalla, cliff etc all delicious
Trail mix
Mac and cheese packets
Any food that you can just add water too- instant pasta, soups, NO RICE A RONIE
Any candy or sweet food
Any junk food lying around your house you don’t want
Any homemade treats
Dried fruit

Any good books
Magazines- hunting, sports, sports illustrated, Time, Newsweek etc
XL pearl snap shirts
2012 Oregon Hunting regulation book
Sudoku books or puzzles
Good earplugs


I just got back from about a week ago from an 18 day vacation.  I went to Guinea Conakry along with 6 other Peace Corps Volunteers.  It was a great trip.  We went to a small mountain village that is on the top of a large plateau about 3600ft and hiked for 6 days.  We saw large waterfalls, incredible cliffs, rock formations, caves and hiked through jungle like forests.  In this small village they grow their own coffee and sell it.  The entire six days we were drinking fresh coffee.  I am not a big coffee drinker but I am now.  I brought back over four lbs of coffee with me to drink.  It is now my morning tradition.   They also have large French bread in Guinea, it is over two feet long and cost about 30 cents and taste like French bread.  Another great delicacy I stumbled upon was basically the equivalent to corn flour donuts that are the size of a cue ball, I ate the heck out of them.  They It was a great break from The Gambia and life here it reenergized me and made me excited to get back to The Gambia. 
Crazy Guinean caterpillar
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On the way down we came to a river with a small ferry.  The way you get across is by pulling a large chain to get across.  It holds about six cars and as many people as can fit.  Well it broke down a couple hours before we got there and they said it wouldn’t be fixed until the following day.  So we decided to set up camp and call it a night.  I got the lucky bed of the hood one person slept next to the car in the grass and everyone else slept in the car.  We all didn’t really sleep all that well or much but it worked out.  We ended up getting across around the next day.
My bed

Guinean ferry system

water crossing

Labe, Guinea


A few days ago I went and helped harvest watermelons with a guy in my village along with my younger host brother.  I show up and they start cutting open 2 or 3 watermelons and you eat until you are completely stuffed. We all sit around for a half hour or so then we each grab a rice bag and walk out to the field to start collecting them.  Earlier in the day some of the guys had already cut the watermelons off the vine and put them in small piles, all we had to do was go to the piles fill our bags with what we could carry and bring them back the 100yards or so and drop them in a pile.  After we collected them we counted them and put them in piles according to size and then ate a few more of the smaller ones.  As payment for helping, we each got to take a few home, so between me and little host brother we had six watermelons.  My host mother was happy along with the rest of the kids, they ate three of them right then when I showed up.
Lamin my host brother on the left unloading watermelons

Me double fisting