Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Another Trek

I recently went on trek for a week to check on projects and help develop some new sites for new volunteers. Myself and Seth went along. He brought his nice SLR camera and we both took lots of pictures with it.
Me in the middle of a village

This trek we did a lot of Mango grafting. We helped a couple PCVs with improving their varieties of Mangos. It is the end of the rainy season.


We stopped at Mikela’s site for a few hours. It was too hot to graft so we took a break and enjoyed lunch.
Most of the Staple Crops are being Harvested and one in particular that I love it sugarcane
This is a mural that she painted with her family and used their hands as hair. Yes, she has a cactus in her compound; It is the only cactus that I know of in The Gambia.

Her counterparts love Obama and chicks. This is a project she is working on with them to improve food security. Mikela got in some grafting practice. Our trek was a week before Tobaski so our drive found a nice ram and a good price so he bought it. I had to test its strength and make sure it was securely tied to the top of the vehicle. The other picture is of another ram being transported. Yes, the ram is alive.

We stopped by Sumner’s site and did some more grafting. He is also doing a poultry project and has some of the largest chickens I have ever seen in this country.

One of the last sites we stopped at the village leader told me that I was the “Leader of beards.” He wanted a picture with me so he called me over along with this young girl to lift up his feet. The picture was little awkward but it worked out.
The Leader of the Beards and the followers

Nate is a PCV, his compound has a monkey and has been featured on my blog before but BOBO the monkey is always a favorite. He now helps groom Nate and wrestles with small children after lunch. Recently Nate texted me and told me that BOBO got loose the other night and they kept hearing children screaming throughout the village because BOBO would attack them and want to wrestle with them. Eventually BOBO was caught and tied back up to his tree.
BOBO and Nate
Gambian Clouds

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Nice Nice!

It has been a while, I think so much of what I experience here now is normal and not out of the ordinary for me that I don’t think other people would care.  It could be also that other people just wouldn’t care anyways so it doesn’t matter what I put here.
I have found a new tailor and we have built a great relationship, he knows what I like and he does a great job.  He is very fast and reliable.  Many service providers here will give you a finish date for a product or service that is at a time they believe will make you happy but it will be completely unattainable for them to reach.  When the date passes and you ask them where your product or service is they will tell you “tomorrow” and then when tomorrow comes they will tell you “tomorrow” again.  With Yonkuba when you ask him “when will my shirts be finished?” he may tell you “I am not busy in 3 days” or “I am very busy next Friday”.  This is what I have come to appreciate about him; I don’t care if it takes a month as long as I know ahead of time it will take that long.  For this service and honesty comes a price which is more than some tailors but I am willing to pay for the service.  
This is some cotton plaid fabric I purchased a year ago in Senegal.  I did get matching shirt and shorts made and yes I wore this in public.  This is probably the only place I could wear this and actually get compliments on how nice I look.  In America people would ask me if I am aware it’s not Halloween for another month.
This fabric is from Guinea Conakry.  It is hand dyed with indigo dye. 
The last picture is me in a meeting, in which I do a lot of now.