I recently had the opportunity to visit home (THE STATES) and came back home (THE GAMBIA) about three-weeks ago. Let me tell you... I felt like I was on VACATION the whole time! I was gone for six weeks, but you know sometimes when you visit home it feels like work. NOT this time! I was actually able to soak up America in all it’s beautiful?ness?... beauty. Let me sum it up for you:
|Dad now has 9-chickens that give him at least 5 fresh eggs a day! He is a chicken whisperer...|
|Gambian fashion in America|
|Mom = Best friend|
South Carolina – I landed my 12-hour+ trip from Dakar, Senegal in the heart of the South. I got to visit my parents, who now own 9-chickens and are gardening their tomatoes and cucumbers (they’ll never call themselves hippies.. but WE know). We enjoyed farmers markets, making margaritas and pizzas, and getting tattoos! Although both of them are shrinking and getting older, they still have the energy of children.
|An inked family. I love you, Dad! You're so awesome with your Pink Floyd shirt.|
New York – After enjoying southern comfort and porch swingin’, I moseyed up to Brooklyn to see my girlfriend. We went out to a drag show, saw The Flaming Lips and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, went to Staten Island and saw the Statue of Liberty, roamed the Brooklyn streets at night and crept the bars, ate Bagels the size of my face, and went to ground zero. Let me just say, I could NEVER live in New York – too fast, but damn it was fun.
|all I need now is a fanny-pack|
|where the side-walk ends|
Minnesota – SURPRISE!!! I went out to see Geoff out in Minnesota on my birthday. Little did he know, I’d come 2-days early and surprise the SHIT out of him. How fun! Minnesota is beautiful, I just wish it were sunnier. We did get to bike around the lakes and see a hip-hop show on first avenue (Soundset Afterparty). This was only the beginning of our adventures together.
Colorado – After our short trip in MN, we flew out to Denver and stayed in Boulder for a little while. WE SAW BASSNECTAR AND A-TRAK in true cosmic fashion – I have never been to a better concert. Oh, did I mention.. it was at Red Rocks! We did a lot of camping and hiking after that, roaming and discovering beautiful mountain towns throughout the state. I also got to visit the place where we met, 9,000 ft. up in Winterpark AND had a miniature snowball fight; it’s quite the change from the desert of The Gambia.
|Snow! I threw a snowball at the camera-man right after this!|
|Bassnectar. A cosmic experience. Rosaline Sunshine is the name.|
North Carolina – Asheville is the shit. In case you haven’t been there, it’s like a miniature “Boulder, CO”. I got to visit my best friend and go zip-lining, zooming through the BEAUTIFUL, lush mountains of North Carolina! We dressed up and roamed the town, meeting generous strangers and some strangely… close folks who were unique in every positive-sense of the word. I ALSO sat in a baby pool while eating chips and drinking beer – epic.
|Only she understand me. Her name is sub-zero|
|Zipping through the mountains at HIGH SPEEDS|
Overall, I did EVERYTHING I wanted to do while I was in the States (starting each day with a Bloody Mary), and got to see all of my favorite people! However, I did miss my Gambian family and friends a lot. I feel refreshed after being back and got the “break” I needed to. I now feel like I have the energy and creative fire to complete my projects here. I realize now that 10-months is A BLIP ON THE RADAR of time and that I need to soak this place up as much as possible.
|My "gift from the road" to my Gambian family. AMERICAN FABRIC!|
So since I’ve been back, I’ve jumped back into work and have decided to do all the things I said I should’ve done in my first two-years of service. These include: go fishing (check), buy a pet goat (check), learn how to drum, bike the country, and so-forth-and-so-on. It’s farming season now, and the rain is in full force. Oh how I missed the CRACK of the thunder less than one-kilometer away and the light-show I get every day, either thunderstorms or heat-lightening. I missed COOS, eating with my hand, wiping with my other hand, prayer calls, greeting people every day, eating mangoes as they fall off the tree, gardening… the list could go on forever. I love this place and I’ve had a great freaking time here. I am going to make the best of this year and radiate my light all over the place.
|Sunset in The Gambia|