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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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oh, no title

Today is the close of January 19, 2012.  I have now been in the Gambia for over a year (our plane touched down on January 6, 2012), and given the way that time flies here, I will soon have been a year at site, actually doing Peace Corps Volunteer work, come March.

In this last week I traveled to Dakar, Senegal with about 30 Gambia volunteers to compete in the yearly West African International Softball Tournament (WAIST).  PC Gambia had two teams competing in the Social League and i played on the B team.  In this tournament were teams from local high schools, a number of teams from Peace Corps Senegal, a marines team, university staff teams and U.S. Embassy staff teams.  There were 20 teams in our social league.

I took time to enjoy my vacation.  It was the first time that I had ever been outside of the Gambia since coming here a year ago.  I strolled around the shoreline, a mall, took lots of cabs, ate as much ice cream as I could at a legendary spot called N'Ice Cream, drank sometimes in excess, and played softball.  This was a vacation after all.  It was very nice to have the anonymity of a city person again.  I felt like a strange tourist because I was also a peace corps volunteer and could almost comprehend enough to have conversations with people in Wollof.  I met a few Fula cab drivers of food sellers, but the majority of people spoke French and Wollof.  It was nice to have that anonymity, that ability to garble out where i wanted to go in a cab, settle on a price, and then enjoy the ride in silence.  In upcountry Gambia where i spend most of my time, I don't have that option.

What I liked about this trip is that it feels good to come back to Gambia.  This familiar ground along a river feels like home.  I haven't yet set foot in my hut (I will travel back tomorrow) but I like to think that this enjoyment and appreciation for coming home will  last for a little while.

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