8:10am I went in for more shots. Yellow Fever fucking hurts. Right under the skin- instead of in the muscle. My doctor told me that that’s the reason for the pain.
I’m done all my shots now except for one more Rabies and one more TwinRix (Hep A and Hep B). Thank god.
Luckily I still haven’t had any side effects other than just a couple of bruises from Rabies and some redness from the rest of them. Got my TB skin test as well today, and I’ll find out the results of that on Friday.
A Canadian working in the Gambia, whom I will be working with when I’m there sent me a Word file with my proposed housing. You can look at it here: Proposed Housing. It got my blood pumping, it got me so excited. Just to see where I’m living makes it all the more real.
I went shopping on Saturday for cool cotton clothing, a hat, sunglasses. I’m going to be soooo North American over there. It’s going to be a totally new experience to be such a minority. “Toubab” is the name they call white people there, and I guess that I’ll hear it constantly.
Something that scares me is the fact that I’m going to have to tone down. I’m a fairly loud, boisterous person. I like me being a typical Maritimer. I enjoy my fiddle music, I enjoy my board games and beer. I have a feeling I’m going to be stripped down to the bare minimum and see who I really am. I don’t mind changing, I really don’t… but this time, it’s going to be such a change.
The VSO Volunteers there say that they have a hard time making friends with the Gambians, because they lead such different lives. The women have very different roles, they’re not respected as well as men, and it’s hard for us North Americans to live like them. Meal time, for example, is where Gambians sit around a rice pot and eat without speaking with their fingers and then leave when they’re full. We, North Americans usually like a slow meal full of wine and good conversation. If I am able to get into the full culture (which I doubt I will- as I’m only there for six months), I’m going to miss having comfortable meals.
So much change- I can’t wait. I need to watch the movie The Beach again before I leave to get me motivated for this much change. That movie does it to me time and time again. It’s what got me to Europe, it’s what got me to apply for this position. It’s what’s going to keep me inspired for this trip and the beauty and change it will bring me.