MAY 1995

Hi! This is more like a journal entry then a letter. I'm not even sure who I'm sending it to. I know it is either Peggy or Robb . The only 2 people I'd bother to tell it to. And I figure probably Peg since Robb isn't able to put pencil to paper and write!

So it's Saturday and hot. I mean hot, over 100 degrees. No fan, air conditioner, nothing. sucks.

I was hungry so I went out for food. I bought some things including a home-made version of "honey-roasted peanuts". They were actually glazed peanuts. I bit into one and it tasted weird and I was worried I ate a bad peanut. But then I realized it was raw. It brought back memories of late September pulling peanut roots out of the ground and eating them raw. You don't eat them that way in the states (cancerous I think).

I've had them boiled, roasted, salted, raw, ground up, and made with breakfast porridge and evening meals. Roasted, salted peanuts are 35 bututes for a bag this big packed like a solid ball. Glazed are a smaller bag. Most snacks are sold in bags like that. Well they are not real bags. More like small sheets of plastic tied up in a bundle. However the plastic is scrap plastic from old bags and stuff. It's not store bought. This is the last use of old plastic.

Water and juice (mostly wanju made from boiled sorrel leaves) is also sold in plastic but clean bags tied in a knot on top. You bite a hole on a bottom corner and sick like your nursing on a nipple. A large bag of water is 50 bututes. Wanju is a 1/2 the size for the same price. Bottles of pop are 3.50 Dalasi but you don't keep the bottle. Cans are 5. Java Juice is large but 12 Dalasi. I can also buy 2 different types of Peanut Brittle for 25 bututes.

The snacks at school all deal with "sauce". Which is oil. Some spicy, some not, some fish, some mostly palm oil (yuck). Fortunately , my school has real mild sauce. You can get a cup of it on a tiny piece of bread, on cassava, or on a thin fried wafer like thing. That's what I get.

Some bigger schools, villages, and ferry crossings have bean sandwiches. The beans taste like the ones inside a bean burrito. The same "sauce" oil is put on top and it's put in a long oaf of French bread. (The only kind of bread here). 1/2 a loaf sandwich is 1.50D. A plain loaf is 1D. I just bought 1 1/2 for me and Abhijit.

And electricity just kicked on so now I sit before the fan.

The beans are in a large bowl and the woman scoops it out in to bread and hands it to ya wrapped in newspaper. Like at a carnival.

At the Farafini ferry you can buy lots of bad goat parts or a sandwich with meat, onions and french fries and macaroni. Yes, french fries and pasta are condiments served on rice or in a sandwich!

When I take a bus cross country we stop along the way and women and children run over and thrust their food in the windows. You can eat oranges, bananas, and peanut products all year round. Seasonally - guava, mango, raw sweet potatoes, cassava, little yellow bread bits and fish pie. Which is a large ball of fried dough with a dollop of fish paste in the center. Very spicy.

I've also eaten lots of fruit I've never heard of before and can't tell you because I only know the Mandinka name, One is really small with hardly any fruit, it tastes like a sour apple. Baobab is very dry, you suck on the dryness and spit out the seed. Almost dehydrated like. One really ugly avocado looking fruit you peel like a pear. So many things, The season now is cashew. Which is a fruit. It looks like an upside down apple with a stem that looks like a kidney. Inside the stem is acid and a cashew nut. It's almost impossible to get the nut unless your doing a mass amount. That is why cashews are so expensive. The fruit has a real weird taste. You can eat the entire thing though. That's what I like about guava. You eat skin, fruit, and seeds.

Luckily the vegetables are mostly familiar. Tomato, potato, onion, okra. But also cassava and some leafy things I don't eat. Oh yeah, and cabbage and lettuce.

I hate coos which is breakfast almost everyday. I'm slowly getting used to sour milk and I live on powdered milk. I mostly eat pasta and peanut butter and jelly.

New Day May 8

Hey Peg,
Yes. I've decided to send this letter to you.
How's it going?
Abhijit and i broke up. It sucks pretty bad. It had to happen but it still sucks. Now that I'm single I've been fondled and flirted with by too many men. I'm actually sick to death of men. They hear we broke up and just assume I want to jump in bed with them. Like the only thing holding me back before was Abhijit. Wrong, the only thing holding me back was I didn't want them. Abhijit and I broke up on Sat nite.
Jason hit on me Sunday.
Jean on Monday.
Jason on Tuesday.
Wed and Thursday were my "day's off".

Fri and Saturday Willie hit on me.
And last night Bill had his hands all over me.

Not one of those people want to commit. They just want to lay their hands all over me.

There are no good men here. I can't wait until the trainees come in July.

What sucked about breaking up with Abhijit is - at home you can go out with your friends and see that there's tons of fish in the sea. Here, there are 35 fish in the sea and I don't want any of them.

on another topic, Lamin had kittens, 5 of which 2 are alive still and one is on deaths door. I hope the last one will live. And Poopsy's pregnant.

And finally, I know what I'm doing with my life. I'm applying to all the Law Schools in Ohio (some in NY city and Washington DC). I want to by my Dad's house and be the family court judge in our county. It's finally and life long plan.
1 year here
3 years law school
5 years practicing law, remodeling the house
Run for judge (or get appointed, depending)>

No serious dating until after law school. I want to find a man who will move into Dad's house. (I'm going to try and send Dad to California).

SO there you have it I'm taking the LSAT October 1 and applying as soon as I get the applications.

I'm very excited and wish time would fly by!

On the Gambian Culture front, Tabaski is this Wednesday. It's some Muslim holiday. What I do know is that every family buys a ram and kills it in a ceremony. Then eat it for dinner. My friend Matt calls it "The Silencing of the Rams". Pretty funny. I'm gonna try and take pictures.

I'm moving Down Country afterwards. Probably next Tuesday. I'm very happy about it. I'll visit here once in a while. And it's just for the summer.

I'll be teaching swimming at a hotel pool. Maybe find me some rich tourist to take me away. :)

Next time I leave America and cross the ocean I wanna be a tourist!

I guess that's all my news. I wish you would visit! I'm homesick but can't come home yet. I'll be heading home the moment I get accepted to law school (which will be 1 year from now anyway!)

Write Soon,
PS I'm sending you this role of film. I hope that's OK. Can you send me 2 sets. If it's a pain in your butt tell me. I won't send another.

June 1995

April 1995

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