Monday, March 28, 2011

Work Life

As I said previously, we aren’t really getting into any big projects yet but we have met the people that run the eco-camp that Ben hopes to work with and also have attended a meeting with the NGO called KOMFARI.  It was interesting so I’ll relay it.  First, we received a text message giving us details of the meeting.  The meeting was to take place in a village that is too far for us to bike to and was on a Saturday. We get on our village gely at 7 am and arrive in the village at around 8:30. The meeting starts around Noon, after breakfast was served.  Breakfast was a plate with either spam or fish (it was hard to tell which one), mayonnaise, and onions that everyone dipped bread into.  There was also Nescafe, as usual.  For those that don’t know Nescafe, it is Gambians choice coffee beverage – it tastes a bit like the worst office coffee you’ve ever had.
After breakfast, the KOMFARI secretary read a mission statement and had a 3 hour discussion of why the peace corps volunteers were there and what was currently happening in the community forests of the area.  And when everyone talked a small boy carried around a tape recorder from 1985 to record the persons words.  Then we broke up for lunch. Lunch was rice, oil, cabbage, and a nice fish. It was pretty good actually.   All 30 people broke up into groups, gathered around a big bowl and ate with their hands.  There was a toubab (white people) bowl with ben, I, and the two other volunteers present and we were the messiest.  After lunch we talked a bit more, decided that our community forest needed to have another meeting, and called it quits around 5.  Ben and I had no idea the meeting would be an all day thing, the only information we had was that it started at 9:30.  After the meeting we tried to catch a gely back to our village but they were all full, which is normal at that late in the day. But our village gely passed by us and told us he would come pick us up.  3 hours later, he arrived and we proceeded home after a long, but eventful day.

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