March 20, 2012

We are off again!

On Friday I leave for Gambia, a small country in west Africa (see map below). There I will be teaching for six weeks as a part of my Masters in the Art of Teaching program. The program has been pretty vague about where I will be teaching, but let me tell you what I do know. I am traveling with three other girls; Jess, Kelly, and Allie. Jess and I will be teaching secondary; while Kelly and Allie will be teaching pre-school. I believe I will be working in an all girls school, but that has not been confirmed. I am living in a compound called "Happy Camp", also known as the Tubab (foreigner) Palace. The building apparently towers over all surrounding buildings. We will have a man bring us eggs and milk every morning for breakfast, the program gives us a small stipend for lunch, and a woman comes to the house and makes us dinner. There is wireless internet in one room of the house, the library, and only five people can be on the internet at once. I have to teach in skirts, and pants/shorts are highly discouraged to wear when in public. The current temperature is in the low 100s and I need to take malaria pills.

All in all I know very little, this I find terrifying. I am a planner. Sometimes it scares me how anal I am about organizing things and making myself feel like I am in control. However, after Egypt, I thankfully have learned how to disassociate myself from some things that I have absolutely no way to control. I am preparing myself to get back into Inshallah time, and praying that I don't have a student tell me that Inshallah bukra they will turn their work in to me. (I should come up with a good retort though if someone does try that).

During my time abroad I am going to try my very best to update my blog weekly; however, with the unreliability of electricity/internet I do not know how likely that will be. I will also be blogging at , which is the blog affiliated with my MAT program, there you will also be able to read the blogs of the other people who I will be traveling with. I look forward to keeping in touch with everyone!

The Gambia is a tiny country located on the west coast of Africa. You can barely see it in this picture because when the British colonized this land they sailed their ships down the Gambian river, firing cannon balls off the ship onto the river banks. Where the cannon balls landed marked the territory that Britain claimed. This resulted in a small country, the second smallest in the world, that snaked with the Gambian river. 

In this picture you can see Gambia off on the left. It is the brown line in the middle of Senegal.

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