Y’all I have a confession. My name is Rachel and its been 38 days since I last wore mascara.
I understand there are some serious issues people face in life but can we please just focus on me for a minute? #alleyelashesmatter
I figured the heat would make any makeup just melt off my face. So given that I didn’t want to end up looking like The Joker I didn’t bring any makeup. But now every time I look in the mirror I wonder why I look so tired and since when were my eyes so small. O woe is me.
So, I’ve made it over a month! I was asked what makes Gambia different from the UK. My answer - EVERYTHING:
The weather, food, people, public transport, cars, languages, social customs and norms, clothes and fashion, trees, animals and insects, electricity, bread, signs, shops and shopping, cooking, water, tea, taps, smells, noise, roads, houses, buildings, flowers, music, internet reliability, washing machines or lack thereof, church, sense of humour, landscape, grass, time, money...
Maybe this is why I’m crawling into bed at 9pm barely able to keep my eyes open. But God is good and I’m getting used to it. I’m even starting to feel like I’m getting a handle on much that happens at the clinic:
Monday is general clinic day – anyone and everyone comes to see a nurse and/or doctor.
Tuesday is antenatal clinic – sooooo many pregnant women. We’re the only health facility in the area where women can have an ultrasound scan.
Wednesday is paediatric day – you can hear children crying all the live long day. It starts when they get weighed at registration and goes on and on and on and on. Even my dead frozen heart of stone feels sorry for them.
Things I am yet to get used to:
All the goats, sheep, chickens, cows, donkeys, cat and dogs wondering around the health centre compound and casually strolling all over the main road. Apparently they all have owners and can all navigate their way back home.
Always feeling under-dressed. Clothes with loud patterns and colours are life to me (had you noticed?!). But these women are on a level I can only dream of.
Getting a text every time its time to pray (5 times a day). Managed to somehow activate the PrayerTime function of my Gambia simcard.
Lack of interest in Brexit. Apparently not everyone in the whole wide world cares about UK politics.
Using cash all the time. Def no chip and pin or contactless out here in Sibanor. Wages are often paid in cash, and so is everything else. I've been told of some remote villages further up country where even cash is rare – most people are subsistence farmers and barter/exchange goods.
Lack of interest in the royal wedding. I legit had to explain who was even getting married. Apparently not everyone in the whole wide world cares about the ridiculous that is the UK monarchy.
Lack of access to McVities Chocolate Digestives in Sibanor. May or may not have spent the weekend going on a 160km round trip to the city, on seven forms of van/car/pickup truck, primarily so I could stock up on said biscuits. (Update: have eaten all the biscuits, now planning next escape to the city).
Hope you're all enjoying the bank holiday.
P.S. I haven’t found Wakanda yet, the search continues