Do they Know It’s Christmas Time At All….

Well, they did in Dakar, Senegal. After making the trek by bush taxi across the Fouta region of Guinea and crossing in to Senegal, we were so surprised to find that it was decked out in Christmas decorations. There was enough Christmas spirit around to appease even the most extreme Christmas-ers (ex: Paige Wayman). In Guinea, it had been quite difficult to believe that it was December, let alone the holiday season, seeing as the weather has just gone from hot to hotter and everyone in my village is Muslim. We had an amazing stay in Dakar, which is a complete 180 from life in Guinea: we enjoyed the paved roads, hot showers, huge variety of food, and grocery stores. Parts of Dakar are also breathtakingly beautiful, especially along the shore line. The group of us spent Christmas day on the Isle de Goree, just off the coast of Dakar. It is a picturesque island full of artists. We spent the day walking around looking at the art and relaxing at a little café on the water.
Our next destination in Senegal was Mbour. It is a little beach town, and we stayed in an awesome bed and breakfast called the Hotel Keur Merrakis. The next 3 days were spent relaxing in the sun and drinking cold beers. Before we knew it, it was time to find a taxi back to Labe, Guinea. We made it to the Peace Corps house in Labe on New Year’s Eve night, so we were able to toast at midnight with some other volunteers who had come in to town for the holiday.
A couple weeks later was my birthday! It is hard to believe that I am 23 and have spent over 6 months in Guinea now. My birthday fell on a Tuesday so Adrienne, being the awesome site mate that she is, biked the 18km to my village so we could make my birthday lunch together. We made Mexican food with homemade tortillas in my hut, and it was great! The next day, Shadassa came to visit Banko for the first time and spent a couple days. That Saturday, we both biked to Adrienne’s village to stay in the hotel there with a group of other volunteers to celebrate my birth a little more. As birthdays tend to do, the day made me think about how my life has changed in a year, and I am very happy to be where I am. Though, it would have been really nice to have the rest of my friends and family there to celebrate with us too!
Since the nice break and birthday celebrations, I have just been settling back in to life in Banko. I am looking forward to doing more work at the health center and starting to think seriously about what kind of secondary projects I want to start in the village. There will be a huge mosquito net distribution all over Guinea in a few months, so the logistics of that will keep us busy at the health center.
I hope everything is going well in the states, and I miss you all!

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One thought on “Do they Know It’s Christmas Time At All….

  1. Sounds WONderful!!! Got goose bumps reading your blog. Stay safe and enjoy every minute of this most excellent adventure!!!!!
    Miss you.
    With Love and some jealousy,
    Linda

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