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 🙂