the house is in quiet chaos right now. we are all trying to prioritze and cram our lives back into the bags we carried over, and make sure we can find it all after our big move tomorrow. it's so exciting and scary and everything, like the first day of college but with a language barrier to make it even crazier. my mandinka is absolutely not at the conversational level yet. but maybe my host family and i can pass the afternoon counting to ten together. we will figure something out.
today was a big day, we got a pit latrine demonstration (fully clothed) and i just had to re-examine that i'm opting to use one of those things for a very long time. but don't worry, it's cool, i'm down for this experience. i'm actually pretty excited about having my own little hut and space here, and if you have to use a pit latrine, it's pretty nice that it's a private one. so i'm not ready to complain just yet. my next post may be very different, though. we also learned about dealing with our new roommates, including bedbugs, cockroaches, mice, bush rats (larger than chiuauas) and other creepy crawlies. they say it's good to have lizards around because they eat the spiders. it's a whole food web in my own home!
after some life-in-the-village training we journeyed to the actual city of Banjul (not just the Combo) and went to the marketplace. it was pretty hectic, and we stuck together in small groups, just like you'd think. but the merchants were pretty nice and i got some good fabric to make a skirt and some curtians for my sweet new hut. they're orange and very durable and i should have plenty of privacy but in a very cheerful way. what more could a girl ask for? the fabric here is hilarious, some of it is just beatiful and some of it is covered in chickens or fans or other random patterning. it's the luck of the draw. and the haggaling! i'm going to have to learn to bargian asap. the "i'm going to walk away" trick works great. i can't even begin to imagine how savvy i'm going to be in two years. but i'm psyched to see.
so tomorrow morning i get yet another round of shots and then we're taking a bus to our respective villages. it's sad to split everybody up, but when we reunite again we'll be so much more educated about the culture. i think it will be great to see what everyone has learned. there will be 3 other volunteers in my village with me, and i'm happy to say we plan on playing plenty of card games and looking out for each other. so think of me fondly and i'll post when i can, but just know i'm learning and integrating and missing everyone and sending my love home.
and playing with adorable Gambian babies. i hope my village has lots of those.
y'all take care now. loveya.