There are just a few random pictures that I either missed putting in my blog earlier or there wasn't really space. So here goes!
During our orientation we had a visit from our next door neighbor who is an Imam, or religious leader in Islam. The girls had to cover their heads and shoulders out of respect for him. On a day to day basis us girls have to cover our knees when we go out in public, but we do not need to have our heads covered at all times. Times when we do need to cover our heads would be for religious reasons like when go into a mosque. Most of the time people understand that we are Americans so they do not make us cover our heads when other people do (like Madeleine teaches at a Muslim girls school, but they do not make her cover her head even though the other teachers need to).
I mentioned earlier that traditionally in The Gambia people eat out of communal bowls or plates and sit on the floor to eat their meals. They use their right hand to eat usually, but when we are around people often give us silverware because they know we are not used to this. This is a picture of Kyle, Madeleine, Baboucarr and I eating lunch in the traditional way. The food is placed on a cloth or newspaper, everyone sits around it and then begins the meal. The dish itself is typically rice with some meat, sauce and vegetables in the middle. You are supposed to eat from the outside of the plate and work your way in. Everyone has their own space in the plate and it is rude to eat form someone else's space (the space is determined by where you are sitting). If you'd like to eat some meat or vegetables you are to use your hands to place it in your space, take a piece off and then place it back in the center. As you can see there is a very specific way to eat communally, it is not just every man for himself. This picture was taken at the art village and this is when we learned the proper etiquette for this way of eating. Since then we have had a few opportunities to use our knowledge and I'm sure we will have much more!
We have met some other tubabs since we've been here. Two were Canadian students of Baboucarr Jallow and one was a previous St. Mary's student who came here through the program we are in and now he is in the Peace Corps here. He came to visit Happy Camp and told us about all the wonderful places to eat and go out. In this picture the group (minus me because I'm taking the picture..) is outside of Omar's, one of our favorite places to eat. It is traditional Gambian food, but sometimes he has Western dishes as well like quesadillas or pizza. As you can see it's a little hut where the kitchen is with outside seating. Peace Corps is written all over the hut because Peace Corps volunteers helped him to build it and the Peace Corps continues to be a major part of his customer population. The food is so delicious and so cheap (one American dollar for a plate FULL of food).
Please ask questions that you may have! About anything! I am more than happy to answer any! Also leave any comments or suggestions. If there's anything you'd like to know more about, or explained further please let me know. Thanks for reading :)