Monday, July 27, 2009

And The Weeks Are Counting Down

Hey Everyone!

Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to get to host my aunt, uncle and cousin through what has become my life...this Gambian Peace Corps experience.

Call me lazy, but I've decided that instead of running you through a day-by-day of our adventures through Gambia, I will instead conveniently refer you to my aunt's blog...where she has already put together a day-by-day journal- with pictures!

Check it out at mmcadoo.blogspot.com

Some of the main highlights for me include:

When we went sight-see along the river, including spotting various kinds of monkeys, baboon families, tons of birds and even a hippo!

Their reactions to the heat that has become normal to me, and the humidity levels that tend to reach beyond natural.

Their comfort level in Chargel was a great comfort to me. Even though Chargel has become home to me, it's still a totally different world from the one I left behind.

I enjoyed them getting to experience the food, transportation issues, some cultural anomalies and the beautiful scenery.

But most of all I'm very thankful they were able to meet my family here, Ceesay Kunda, and my dog, Khiva.

I am fortunate to have made such a close connection with my host family here in Gambia, and it was exciting for me to get to introduce them to some of my family from the States. They were more than thrilled and did all they could to try to keep my visiting family happy, comfortable, entertained, rested, and well fed. I can't speak for my family's experience, but I know they ate well...before the chicken foot or the fish head in the food bowl decreased their appetites.

But, as you have had more than a year of my opinions and outlooks on Gambia, I'm excited for you to check out Marcia's blog and see my life here through a new lens.

What is weird for me now is that having family come visit was the last big "event" to check off my list of things to do before my service here comes to an end. After dropping my family off in Dakar and getting back to Gambia, I began my medical clearance for "close of service" from Gambia, and I am now working on my "Description of Service," which is basically like a detailed resume specific to just my activities, trainings and projects I have done here. (as in a past-tense experience)

With little less than 6 weeks left, my daunting outlook on years of service have quickly turned into months, and the months into weeks. All-too-soon the weeks will be days, and I will soon be on my way back across the big pond. Until then I look forward to living it up as much as one can with my friends in Chargel, and cherishing every passing day to its fullest. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I don't intend to let it slip away.

That said, on a personal note I am also starting to experience a mini roller-coaster of emotions. Not wanting to say goodbye to my family and friends in Chargel, yet excited to see my family and friends in the States. Ending my service here a bit earlier than was planned, yet thrilled at the opportunity to extend to Jordan.

All in all, life really is an experience full of changes, challenges and opportunities, and I suppose it's how we take on those events that determines the next changes, challenges and opportunities we encounter. That said, I hope to finish out my service here on the highest note possible, and then continue to just take my post-Gambian life one day at a time.

I can't thank my family and friends enough for all of the support and encouragement I have received during my time here, and I'm excited to see you all again soon.

Until next time...I'm headed out to Chargel.