From May 24-29, I finally organized and executed a small mural painting project at the Farafenni hospital (AFPRC General Hospital). I was able to get five Peace Corps volunteers and a village community member to come and help me with the drawing and painting. Kathy, another PCV that lives somewhat nearby, let me use her paints and drawing materials to make these murals. Three of the murals were painted in the hospital’s Pediatric Ward, and two were painted in the Maternity Ward. According to the comments from patients, nurses, and other hospital staff members, the murals added a lot of color and character to the wards.
Mural 1: Road to Health
Mural 2: Proper Hand Washing
Mural 3: Proper Wound Care
Mural 4: Exclusive Breastfeeding
Mural 5: Proper Hand Washing
Thank you Nichole, Jackie, Sebestian, Peter, Maggie, and Alagie for helping me with this project, and thank you Kathy for the painting supplies.
Some time ago (about one and half years actually), I entered a photo contest on Smithsonian Magazine Online and was an Editor’s Pic for a “Photo of the Day.” That kinda made me realize that “hey… I guess people really do like some of my photos”… so I decided to do it again. Today, I entered in the See | Me website’s 4th Annual EXPOSURE Photo Competition.
Please click on the link below and view my photo entries. If you like them, please VOTE for me, or SHARE the link on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress, PInterest pages, etc. Thanks for all the support!
Congratulations to the 10 new Health volunteers that had their swearing-in ceremony today! Welcome Christine, Daniella, Eloise, Jason, Kara, Katie, Lindsey, Lisa, Sebastian, and Siobhan to the Peace Corps The Gambia family. Now it’s time to celebrate, Senegambia style!
Quite the travel day today: Jumped on a gelli gelli (a public transport van here in The Gambia, capable of holding up to about 30 passengers) with 2 other volunteers. Before it pulls out of the parking garage, the engine starts revving very hard and doesn’t stop. The noise gets louder and louder. Smoke starts coming from the engine, and the driver can’t turn it off. Everyone is told to get out fast, and people panic trying to get out of the gelli. Mothers toss their babies out the window to other passengers outside. I’m jumping over seats to get out. Thankfully, the gelli didn’t explode, but the chaos that it caused felt like that it just could have… OH, then we get back on the gelli and continue on our trip… then it dies and breaks down completely, and we have to hop on another gelli. Made it to the Peace Corps house safely… THANK GOD!!!
On a sad (and ironic) note, I found out recently that a Peace Corps volunteer died in Uganda due to an automobile accident (link below). Also, in Ghana, another volunteer died recently due to health issues… I think an unknown illness (link below). My heart and condolences goes out to the family and friends of these fellow PCVs!!!
I’ve decided that I want to start posting more pictures of the Gambia – images of the country, it’s people, daily life in the towns and villages – but I’m not trying to make this a photo blog… well, maybe I am, kinda, a little. Anyway, for now, here are pictures taken last Sept (or was it last Oct) of Janjanbureh, also known as Georgetown, also known as MacCarthy Island. People loved changing its name over the years.
RANDOM MOMENT OF THE DAY: I noticed my host mom was washing the spoon that I was going to use to eat dinner. Then I realized she was washing it using the water that the ducks in my compound were drinking out of. Le sigh…
On a different note: A donkey in my compound nearly went into my house this evening. He was just standing outside, not knowing where to go. Thankfully, that ass didn’t enter my house.
It’s happened before, and it’s happened again… snake in the compound! Last time (it was actually in training village last July), I found 3 snakes in my hut. This led to Peace Corps moving me to a different host family and different house. This time, however, I’m at site, and the snake was not in my hut, but rather my host mom’s hut.
So… I said goodnight to my host mom and headed inside my hut to take a bucket bath. My host mom went into her own hut where the kids were sleeping. (My host dad was away visiting relatives so he’s not around tonight.) From my house, I suddenly heard my friend/neighbor in the compound talking to my host mom outside. I opened my door to find out what’s going on, and my host mom tells me something is inside her house. She didn’t want to disturb me, and so that’s why she called my friend.
My neighbor finds big stick, I go into my hut and grab my machete, and we end up searching my host mom’s hut. After a couple minutes, we end up killing a small snake slithering inside. Well, actually, my friend was the one that killed the snake. He spotted the snake first and started whacking it with the stick. Then he took my machete and started chopping it as if it was a vegetable on a chopping block. Whack! Whack! Whack! I had never used my machete before, but I must say… it’s pretty damn sharp!!!
We took the snake pieces out of the house and looked around to make sure there were no other snakes wriggling about. Soon, other village people came to our compound to see what happened. After a couple minutes, people slowly went back home. My host mom, though a little frazzled, went back inside her hut despite saying she didn’t want to sleep there tonight. I went back inside my hut, and started inspecting my room for any slithering creepy crawlies. And finally, I was able to take my bath
But questions remain… what kind of snake was it? And was it poisonous?