Jul 12, 2014

More Third Goal Madness

The last time I claimed to be accomplishing the Peace Corps' Third Goal (helping Americans understand the people and cultures of other countries) I dressed myself and my step-siblings up in Gambian garb and walked around rural Maryland, where, surprisingly, no one batted an eyelash. This time, I've actually done something more noteworthy. 

I have officially been a keynote speaker. 

I put that line all by itself to make it look impressive. A few months ago, I was asked to speak at the Hunger Banquet being held by my aunt's EcoClub at the local high school. Always eager for an opportunity to wear a complet, I readily agreed. I brought out all my fabrics and souvenirs from their hiding places and put them on display. I put on the complet from my last Tobaski and covered my arms in Fula jewelry. I prepared a slideshow and somehow compressed two years into twenty  minutes. 

Afterwards, the questions kept coming. And coming. "Were you scared of tropical diseases?" "Do Gambians have pets?" "What's the strangest food you ate?" One student wanted to know how I brushed my teeth. He seemed disappointed when I replied I did so with a toothbrush. 

If you have been paying attention to the dates of these posts, you may have noticed that it has now been nearly two years since I have returned from The Gambia. That doesn't matter. I still think about it all the time. 

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