Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tourists (4-2-11)

This past week has flown by for us. Neither of us feels like we have a ‘normal’ routine yet and every day I want to start studying Mandinka and fail to do so.  Although several villagers know English, a lot do not, and everyone wants you to speak the local language even if they speak excellent English.  We have the usual vocabulary down but having any meaningful conversation is far out of our range.  

This week we had some Peace Corps volunteers from Morocco come stay at our lodge.  It was great to exchange stories, hear about their experiences, and get traveling tips.  They both live with the Berbers in Morocco, and are a year into their service.  They actually made us feel thankful about our site because they are both in such a conservative area where temperatures can reach up to 140 degrees.  They do have running water and electricity which we were jealous of, but we both decided we wouldn’t want to trade.  We also got to show some Americans around our village area, see what our camp was like with guests, eat some good food, and take a boat trip to James Island.  The boat trip was amazing! The water is so calm by our village, there are a lot of birds, and it feels really nice on the water. James Island is an international historic site and was interesting to see.  I’m sure we’ll be making the trip again when others come to visit.

Ben and our friend Ibrama on James Island

                    Approaching James Island from our boat (our village is a 30 minute boat ride away)

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