Sunday, December 25, 2011

African Christmas 2011

Christmas… wow
This will be the first time in my life I will celebrate Christmas away from my family.  Spiritually they are with me, for the last couple days they have all been in my thoughts.  I celebrated Christmas Friday afternoon.  Peace Corps brought my mail which included four packages, 3 letters, and one singing vibrating shaking booty elf card.  I had a friend come visit for a couple days so we made pumpkin pie spiced French toast, JELLO chocolate pudding with ice I had bought and then topped it off with apple pie flavored gum courtesy of my sister.   It was great my sister sent a box of Christmas presents that were wrapped so I naturally needed a tree to put them under.  So I ran out to my garden and brought in a small Macadamia nut tree I am growing and it was a nice addition. 

Me, My christmas tree and my Big brother
 I also was sent a picture of my brother and I from before I left.  I figure someone from my family needed to experience Christmas in Africa.  My friend Yahya also was there to watch and learn about what Christmas is.  

Yahay and I around my Christmas tree. 
(I am wearing a shirt my sister sent me to let her know I got it)
At times I had to stop and just take a breath because opening presents and reading letter starts to bring memories and thoughts of home and the people that are there.  It’s tough but in the end I was very happy and tired of my first Christmas in Africa.  
Christmas is not easy here in The Gambia, it can wear you out
My goat would personally like to send a huge thank you to her godmother (my sister) for sending her a beautiful pink collar.  It was a few inches too tall but, nothing a fire heated nail couldn’t fix and some nice tie straps couldn’t make a nice addition.
My goat with new collar in the goat house
My family all laughed and then stopped once they actually saw what I was doing and just stared in disbelief in that the goat has a pink collar.  In The Gambia usually wire, old fabric and paint mars an animal of who ones it.  I wanted to bring a little American culture to The Gambia.
My goat with the new collar
Thank you everyone who sent me a package or a letter or a padded envelope it was all a great addition to my Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peace Corps Parade Gambian Style

I am in the big city for a few days.  On Monday we had a big parade to celebrate Peace Corps 50th year anniversary.  All 90+ volunteers and Peace Corps staff marched down one of the main paved streets in the city.  We were arranged by regions, I am in the western region.  We made a banner and marched with our flags.  We were led by The Gambian police marching band.

 Marching down a 3rd world street with sub par drivers is a little nerve racking but we made it without any major problems