Night and Day…

It’s been a long time since I wrote my last blog post.  Now, it’s COS (Close-of-Service) time.  I have my COS Conference this week, and will be leaving The Gambia in August.  I was sorting through old pictures and videos from the past 2 years, and I started feeling nostalgic.  To commemorate COS Conference week, I made this little video.  The beginning are clips of my cohort from when we first arrived in country, but later videos include all the other PCVs in The Gambia.  Enjoy!

Happy Birthday to My Niece and Nephew!!!

One of the hardships that I face living in Africa is being away from my family.  March is especially hard because it’s the birthday month for both my niece and nephew.  Every year, my sister and brother-in-law throw a large party with family and friends to celebrate both kids’ birthdays.  (I know when they get older, though, the kids will probably want their own birthdays celebrated separately, but for now since they’re still young, everyone comes together for a big combined Happy Birthday extravaganza.)  This year, I put together a little Happy Birthday video with the help of my Peace Corps The Gambia friends and some Gambian children.  Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Megan and Cameron!  Uncle Ryan misses you!

Gambian wedding ceremonies…

A little information about Gambian wedding ceremonies:

Gambian wedding ceremonies last 3 days. Tonight, there are 2 wedding ceremonies going on in my village, and it’s the 1st day of each of the ceremonies. During one wedding, it’s the groom that is getting married to a girl in another village. His ceremony tonight was quick because he had to be driven to the bride’s village to stay the night there. Tomorrow, he returns with his bride, and my village celebrates. In the other ceremony this evening, it’s the bride that is getting married. Her groom is going to be arriving from his village to spend the night here, and my village celebrates tonight. Tomorrow, she is taken to his village, and they celebrate there.

Next week, there is going to be another wedding ceremony, and the following week, another one again. So in total, 4 wedding ceremonies in 3 week’s time. March is gonna be a month of little sleep, since wedding ceremonies also include loud blaring music that lasts till 6am. At least this evening, I got to eat 4 dinners :)

Photo Contest…

I entered another photo contest by See.Me!  This one is called “Exposure: A Competition Celebrating the Power of the Image.”  I entered the same photo contest last year, and though I didn’t win anything (or even go far), 3 of my photos were later chosen to be part of a different photo exhibit in NYC.  I entered the photo contest again this year, and hopefully I get a little better results… maybe even win something (*crossing fingers*)…

Check out the website for my photos.  Please VOTE for me!  Voting is free!

https://xtremenergy.see.me/exposure2014

Please vote for me! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

Oh… and also… please share this link on your FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc…

Goat on Roof…

I don’t know how the hell this happened, but when I woke up this morning and stepped out of my house, I saw a GOAT on the roof of my neighbor’s house.

Seriously, how does a goat get on a roof?  And it wasn’t a mountain goat we’re talking about here… just a regular, annoying, eating-every-plant-in-sight goat.

Needless to say, my host mother and I were just staring for several minutes.

Vagabond Eyes

I kinda took a break from writing in this blog during the last month.  I still intend to keep writing and updating friends, family, and the WordPress community about what’s been going on in my life, but in the meantime, I started up a new blog… a photo blog to post random pictures I’ve taken over the years.  They’re geared more at photos that I’ve taken while traveling.

The new blog is titled Vagabond Eyes, and you can find it here:  vagabondeyes.wordpress.com.

Come and visit, like it, follow it… I’m going to continue posting pictures there on a regular basis, and any feedback, comments, tips, and advice (either about photography or photoblogging) are greatly welcome!!!  I really want to improve my photography and be able to showcase them in a tasteful way online.

Merry Christmas from The Gambia…

Tonight… Christmas Eve… PCV friends and I made spaghetti, veggies, fruit salad, and more… and had some cookies, peppermint white chocolate, candy canes, and hot chocolate while watching Love Actually… Merry Christmas from The Gambia!!!