you would think that being saved from the life of a typical Gambian cat-the beatings, the parasites, the hunger-would make him grateful. but no. despite the steady diet of fish and powder milk (and cheese if he's been particularly sweet lately), despite the petting, the protective flea collar, the baths, and the love, despite the fact that he has a perfect life, he still insists on waking me up at 5am. every morning. this is a new trend. he used to sleep through the night (and most of the day). but i guess since it's hot hot hot his nap schedule got rearranged and now "be really obnoxious and cry loudly until casey lets me out" happens from 5 until5:30 every morning, instead of the middle of the day when it used to happen. and yes, he has been reminded that he was adopted. it didn't help.
otherwise things have been pretty good. my cold is little more than a pesky cough now, and it actually has been cooler these last few days. i can breathe even at the hottest part of the day (through my mouth, but i'm still breathing). we're all getting geared up for the big festival this weekend, i'm actually getting excited. there's going to be so much music. i love watching the Senegalese dancers that are going to be coming, as well. they're just impressive people. i'm on the "hospitality" committee, which basically means they want me to keep the tourists attending happy. i think it should be a pretty manageable job, i just hope there are no drunken scenes. the soldiers are coming to help control the crowd, but i don't know how they will feel about disciplining tourists. which is where i come on. i'll use some of my american moxy to keep them in line. or just tell the soldiers not to worry, they're people just like the rest of us. last year the soldiers locked up all the overly intoxicated rastas, cut off their dreads, and made them work in their garden. i don't think they're allowed to go that far this year, but i hope the boys are thinking of their dreads and behave.
after the festival i'm headed back up north for a girl's leadership camp. it's pretty exciting. i can't wait to see girls from all over the country working together. it even involves a "bridge-building" activity. who doesn't love a well-placed metaphor? i'm doing the icebreakers, which is in my opinion the most important part. just kidding. but i think it could be the most fun. the girls are at a really fun age, so hopefully nobody will be too shy and we'll be able to get them to bond. i think they're all going to love it. after a week together, how could they not?
so i'm off to search for lunch