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I hope I'm the right Scott Jorgensen that you are looking for.  

The professions and identities of some of my more illustrious namesakes include Scott Jorgensen the flyweight UFC fighter, Scott Jorgensen the podiatrist, and, more locally, there are two other Scott Jorgensen individuals in the Greater San Francisco Bay Aea, according to LinkedIN.

Well, if you read that whole paragraph, I bet that you know by now whether or not I am the Scott Jorgensen that you are looking for.

About the Gambia (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Republic of The Gambia, commonly known as The Gambia, or Gambia, is a country in Western Africa. The Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, bordered to the north, east, and south by Senegal, with a small coast on the Atlantic Ocean in the west.

Its borders roughly correspond to the path of the Gambia River, the nation's namesake, which flows through the country's centre and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Its size is almost 10,500 km² with an estimated population of 1,700,000.

On 18 February 1965, The Gambia was granted independence from the United Kingdom and joined The Commonwealth. Banjul is The Gambia's capital, but the largest conurbation is Serekunda.

The Gambia shares historical roots with many other west African nations in the slave trade, which was key to the maintenance of a colony on the Gambia river, first by the Portuguese and later by the British. Since gaining independence in 1965, the Gambia has enjoyed relative stability, with the exception of a brief period of military rule in 1994.

An agriculturally rich country, its economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and tourism. About a third of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Aloha!

Hello America, I've neglected you for so long.

Sorry about it.

I've been keeping busy here in The Gambia.  The days go long but the months are quick here.  I've been working a bit in the gardens to build up bee populations and transplant Agave sisalana plants to form hedges for garden protection (those pesky goats...).  I've been relaxing a bit, reading many a book and drinking a few bottles of Julbrew, the national beer brand.  I've been official a bit, meeting President Jammeh as a representative of Peace Corps during the organization's 50th birthday.

The rainy season has ended and now we only have the odd thunderstorm to make things wet.  Today do feels like some rainy season mugginess so it is hard to predict what will happen.  The coming cold season is coming (COLD!) and i look forward to being warmed by that morning cup of tea or coffee.  There are many things going on right now it is kind of hard to group them all.  So this message can be shorter and sweeter.

The Gambia is working diligently to be ready for the Tabaski holiday.  This Muslim holiday will be a three day celebration in the village and I am very excited to be in attendance with my host family. Right now, Farafenni is bleating and humming with activity as everybody strives to have a ram to sacrifice for the tradtional religious celebration.  This demand spikes up the price of rams, of course, so that some heated bartering goes on and the sheep are overpayed for in general.  Bush taxis loaded with watermelons go rumbling down the street, but soon the watermelon will be out of season.

I have a lot of time to sit and think about the passing colors and rhythm of flower blooming that passes as the weather changes for wet to dry and cool.  People in my area of the country have already harvested their millet crops, while in the more coastal areas, the millet is still flowering.  Groundnuts will soon be ready for harvest.

Recently, my village underwent a quiet revolution: we have piped water now.   Our piping was finally connected to the watertank and solar pump of the next village over, so in the evening times we are able to draw water from a tap.  This really opens up some work opportunities for me, some things that just weren't possible before in village because of the work required to get and transport water.  Now we can have gardens within the compound.  Now growing those live fences will be so much easier.  I want to enlist the help of my 11 year old brother to fetch water and water things.  Before i didn't ask because he wasn't big enough to wrestle the pump by himself.  Now, water is here.  Let the birds sing.  OH THE POSSIBILITIES.  : D

I'm a selfish person.  I want to see the wonders of the natural world before they go away completely.  I think that the best of the last will be gone within the next thirty years, so i am going to be selfish a bit with my life.  When i first came to Gambia i was excited to see a tropical ecosystem, but a bit let down about the degraded state of this environment.  Still though, it's much close to the equator and there is a wealth of plant species here.  The elephants and the lions are gone, but the insect community of the Gambia is astounding.  Sitting in the grass i realize that there are multiple species of insect as big as my hand all buzzing around me.  It was just nice to realize that every place has a wealth, you just got to get down to the right perspective to see it.

keep on growing.