Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beach Corps

We have been in Kombo (the more urban area on the coast of the Gambia) for a few days to attend a conference with many of the other volunteers. This trip has had its ups and downs - the Peace Corps transit house was too full and we didn't get offered any alternative place to stay, so we ended up sharing a hotel room with some friends for a few nights. It might not have been the most financially frugal plan, but the place we stayed was right on the beach and pretty reasonable, so it was fun. Swimming in the ocean here is great. The water is so much warmer than Massachusetts!

We are heading back to Bwiam today and can't wait to see our family and our cat.

Me and Mamie at Bwiam's community radio anniversary celebration

Darrin and I at the same event. People here love ausobi (matching fabric for special occasions).

Darrin demonstrating the best way to carry heavy things
Takaa and Darrin hanging out on the porch

Monday, June 11, 2012


 Mamie (one of our sisters who lives at the other compound)  and Yusupha
Yusupha (9 months) and his mom Bintou  -  we live with them!

Yusupha cooling off
Takaa, our vicious"africanized" kitten

Monday, June 4, 2012

I just realized that we have been here in West Africa for 3 months now. In many ways it seems like longer!

Our house has been in upheaval this week because our floor was finally finished (with the help of a local mason and some cement from the Peace Corps). This meant we had to take everything out of the house and are now in the process of putting it back in. And then, in the midst of this project, we found ourselves to be the proud new adoptive parents of...a small kitten!

 We were walking home from our family's other compound one evening with our sister Mamie and we all stopped to greet some neighbors.  They were sitting by the street outside their compound with a pretty adult cat (unusual in itself - a lot of people here really dislike cats) and Darrin suddenly asked them (in Mandinka) where the kittens were. I don't know why he asked, but it was meant to be, because they said (in Mandinka) that they were in the house. An old, shirtless man got up from his mat and took us to the door of a small cement building, then told us we should take the three small kittens inside. We explained that we could only take one, so we chose a medium-sized female with grey tiger stripes and a small orange blaze in her head. She has been living in our bathroom when we are not around to supervise her, but has adjusted to using a litter box (really a bidong we cut in half and filled with sand from the road) and has been surviving on powdered milk and some fish from the market (cat food is not something they sell in most stores here, since feeding people is, understandably, the greater priority). We are still trying to come up with a good name for her though...

I will post a picture was soon as I get the chance!

-Maamaa (Colette)