Still here. Still alive. Still sunburnt.

I spent the weekend with my program in Sokone (a small village near the Gambia), hence the lack of post-age.

We stayed in thatched-roof houses, although it was a “hotel” and therefore a little fancier than the compounds usually are.  Still, we visited a compound and had an excellent time.  The walls are made from a cement-like substance made from mud and crushed shells, which makes for a much cooler housing material than the cement ovens they like to bake us in here in Dakar.

We simply asked if they minded if we came in to look around, and the moment we entered the gate we were swarmed by urchins.  Mine was named Penda* and she somehow managed to cling to my hand even in the process of trying to retie her skirt (which fell off halfway through the visit and never quite got reattached).

We visited a few NGOs run by women (grains, jams/batiks), a honey business, and an eco-tourism site.  It was all pretty cool.  We took a pieroge (once again, small wooden boat and not Polish food item) to and from through the mangroves.  We didn’t see any manatees, but apparently there are some that live in that particular little ocean branch.

Finally, we spend a few hours talking to a group of 15-year-old girls.  It was interesting because they all know what they want to be, and half of us are still struggling.  Here?  You have to know.  If you don’t you’ll never break the cycle.

It was an excellent weekend in short, but it’s nice to be home in Dakar.  I missed my family.

* One of my favorite Sénégalese womens names, tied with Ramatoulaye and Aminata.

3 Responses to “Still here. Still alive. Still sunburnt.”

  1. Your Squeaky Says:

    Was Snooty there?

  2. Sam Says:

    Here’s my ignorance: I didn’t know there were old world manatees!

  3. GG Says:

    I didn’t know there were old world manatees either — there should be.

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