Hello all! I am entering into my final weekend here in The Gambia, yet I have a full schedule ahead of me. Tonight I am going to Leybato beach bar for what could be one of the last times I hang out with my friends here. They have elevated my experience here and I will truly be sad to leave them. I guess I will just have to travel the world so I can visit them in Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Spain. Jean Marc, Rachel, Sandra and I had quite the successful dance class on Wednesday. The instructor and the drummers are from Guinea and are very talented. I felt pretty silly at first but all I had to do was look over at Jean Marc’s attempt at being coordinated and I felt better about myself (sorry if you’re reading this Jean Marc!). We all had a blast and I even got someone to record a video of us (which very few people will ever see). We will be getting together again for the soccer match tomorrow. I will be wearing the Gambian jersey I bought for my brother and apparently Dr. Sarr has a jersey he’s wearing as well so we’ll be twins:)
I almost started bawling at the airport when Ousainou and I picked up Dr. Sarr today. I don’t know where the tears came from but I was so happy to see him and it felt just like home hearing his voice. I spent a few hours with him and Ousainou and it felt so right. I also feel a lot more confident about my research after discussing my issues with Dr. Sarr. Next week we will be embarking on a trip to the Northern bank of the Gambia to visit his home village and several sites of memory of the Atlantic Slave Trade. I will probably be out of touch during this time, but I am excited to see more of the country!
Last night when we were watching tv at home I got to experience the world of Gambian R&B and rap. It’s similar, yet different to rap music videos in the US. The objectification of women is a common theme, but it is manifested in a different way. Instead of scantily-clad women sliding up and down poles, drinking alcohol and grinding against guys, the women in these videos sashay their hips as they carry a bucket of water on their heads, or sensually stir a pot of food over a fire. Women’s sexuality here is very much connected with domesticity. It made me laugh at first, because I wasn’t convinced that stirring a pot could be sexy but this woman in the video pulled it off!
Well, that’s all you’ll get from me for today! Until next time…