Saturday, August 18, 2007


So here I am, back in Kombo, after two months in "the bush." I though I was thinking ahead, and I typed up some information to post to my blog from a friends laptop when we made one of our training trips to Tendaba, which has power (sometimes) but no internet... but now there's some sort of conversion problem, so I'm back to square one. I am going to post some pictures for now, and then possibly come post the rest later.

These pictures are from our naming ceremony in Jiroff. All children go through a naming ceremony the week after they are born. They shave the baby's head, give him/her a name, and then celebrate for the rest of the day. Ours was a shortened version of this, without the acutal headshaving. They just held a razor to our head for effects, then gave us our names, then made us dance a little bit. My Gambian name is Maimuna. My fellow Fula trainees are Liza and Josiah... their Gambian names are Tida and Demba. We were dressed in Gambian clothes for the occasion. The woman in the picture with me is Juma, my "sister" and good friend now. I am also close with Juma's daughter, Bintu. Here are some pictures of Bintu.

Here, I am learning how to brew attaya with my "cousin" and friend, Abdoulie. Attaya is a green tea that is brewed in a small kettle over hot coals. They add a whole lot of sugar to it, so it is very sweet and very strong. There is a mixing process between the kettle and the glasses, which the Gambians have turned into an art. The whole attaya process can take hours (It usually does). It is an opportunity for people to sit around and socialize, especially during the heat of the afternoon, when it is almost impossible to get any work done. But actually, you see attaya being brewed everywhere all the time.
Here is my Jiroff family, the Bah's, or at least as many family members as I could pull together for a picture. Now that I have moved to my permanent site, my surname is Njie, but I have kept the name Maimuna.

I wanted to share this picture because it shows why sleep is sometimes hard to come by in the village. This is a picture of my front porch at night. The animals roam the village freely... and they make noises throughout the night.

I just really liked this picture of some of the village boys with these really cool African flowers.

Me and my Appstate girls at one of our training sessions in Tendaba.

So that's all on training for now... I'll have more soon!

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