The past two days have been very overwhelming, but also fantastic and interesting. Yesterday, we walked around Old Jeshwang, which is where we’re living, and then walked about 45 minutes to a beach to enjoy lunch with Mohammed, Dr. Fourshey and her family. Gavin, who has been here a week or so already, took us to a bank where we could exchange some cash and showed us around where a lot of shops are, where we will catch the bush taxis to the school, etc. Then we headed out to a beach about 45 minutes away. The walk was long and it was definitely warm out, but once we got to the beach, the clouds came out, it cooled down considerably, and I just instantly felt calm as I sat down and looked out at the water. We stuck around for a few hours, and I know that I’ll have no problem walking down there as often as possible so I can curl up in one of their hammocks with a good book and read for a few hours. Ah, relaxation on the beach. I definitely don’t miss the snow right now.
Today, after checking out the supermarket and post office in Kairaba (maybe about a thirty minute walk? I’m not a very good judge of time, but I know it felt like a long walk, haha), as well as getting cell phones, we went to Senegambia and checked out Bijilo National Park. Senegambia is a very touristy area where we saw lots of European tourists (well, we assume they’re Europeans, as they usually all are). Bijilo was fantastic—monkeys everywhere! (I sadly left my camera at the house because it needed some serious charging, but when others put up pictures from the day I may take a few to show you guys.) I was totally cool with the monkeys on the ground, even the ones fighting each other, but whenever one was in a tree I couldn’t handle standing under it—mortally terrified of it jumping down onto my head! Of course that didn’t happen, but I also did my best to make sure I wasn’t in a situation where it could have… oh, paranoid Amy.
At night, at the end of each day, we’ve mostly just hung out, talked a lot, laughed a lot, etc. The group I’m here with is a chill, fun group, and definitely outgoing. This is major, okay? Not-very-outgoing me needs people who have no problem venturing out and talking to people and stuff because as they do it, I’ll eventually get more and more comfortable with it. I’m definitely realizing my anti-social tendencies and hope that eventually, this trip will help me to feel more comfortable around new people—after all, I’m meeting new people every day.
I doubt I will give a run down of each day over these next four months—honestly, how boring would that be? However, I’ll try to update fairly regularly. I can already think of a few things I want to talk about, such as bumsters (ohh have I got a lot to say about bumsters) and my first impressions on our being resident “toubabs.” For now, though, this boring, not-very-detailed post will have to do. I’ll also eventually get around to putting up pictures, once I take more and upload them to my computer.
But for now, I will go get ready for bed as tomorrow we head out to learn how to take the bush taxis out to Brikama, where the university is. I don’t quite remember what else we’ll be doing, but it’s been an adventure and likely will continue to be.