Monday, January 2, 2012

L is for Leaving

i should have started this alphabet thing a little earlier, i suppose. we're only at L and it's time for me to go! i left my village for good friday, within a day or so exactly 2 years from when i first arrived there. it was hard to leave, as i am sure you can imagine. there were tears, and not all of them were mine. saying goodbye is never easy, and in a situation like this where you don't know when or if you will ever see the person again, it becomes even harder. also, gambians have a different perception of how to say goodbye. they don't like to do it. a full half of my host family left the compound just minutes before i did, wordlessly, so they wouldn't have to see me go. the rest of them could barely look me in the eye. a few cried, and hugged me, but that was far from the norm. i am very glad i learned before that day they were not going to stay put for what i see as a normal goodbye, or i would have been offended. it's a sort of a compliment, it turns out, it means they are so upset they can not face you. otherwise they would stay. but very opposite from the american mindset, which is that goodbye is really important, and you could really offend someone by not saying goodbye to then, as it is a sign you are insignificant in their lives. i don't doubt, in any way, that i was a part of these people's lives.

i know i still am.

and now, i am finishing up the paperwork and the packing, getting ready to leave the Gambia. but don't put up your eyeglasses just yet, dear reader, for my african adventure is not over. from Gambia i will be going to Dakar (but only for 4 days) and then setting out to Ghana(!!!!!!!!!!!!) for 2 and a half weeks. Once Ghana has been good and seen, i'll continue on to Morocco (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), then take the ferry over to Spain (!!!!!!!!!!!!), where I will while away the days in as european of a fashion i can muster, before finally returning home (!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) to my family. so as long as i'm still technically across the Atlantic (and maybe even a few weeks after i'm not) i plan on maintaining this blog. so keep on checking for the same infrequent posting schedule, and see if you'll be first to know whether or not i saw elephants in Mole, or sea turtles in Butre, or learned more Arabic in Fez. I might even post pictures of the dolphins that supposedly frolic in the wake of the ferry to Gibraltar.
if you're lucky.

1 comment:

  1. Know it is hard to leave but we are ready for you to get home. Have a blast on your travels.

    Love you, Mom