After a normal dose of confusion at the garage, we managed to arrange a car for the five of us to make the long swing north around The Gambia for Spencers moringa training. After an 8 hour car ride and 2 additional hours in a cramped "bush taxi," we made it to our destination village by dusk.
I can guarantee that this isolated but quite established village of 4000 has never housed this many Toubobs. We were greeted by Spencers family and a generous bean dinner. Swarms of kids bounced between us repeating the same questions, each time as excited as the last. We are 10 names they will not soon forget.
Monday morning was anything but prompt. After a bread and cafe breakfast, Admins arrival, and repositioning under a comforting cashew tree, we kicked the meeting off with prayers. Because the bulk of the presentation was in a different local language, Wolof, I twiddled my thumbs hoping that my counterpart was paying attention and my mere attendance was enough. There was threat of rain but we didn't get a mist stronger than the cool off and rest stations at theme parks.
The first day was not exactly as I expected, a repeated reminder that I should drop any preconceptions of Peace Corps related events. We discussed contracts that would enable villagers to sell Moringa leaves to designated buyers at a set price. My counterpart interests in the training lied with hopes to better extend the importance of Moringa within our village, which was thankfully touched on during the second day.
During the training, another small, toddler sized obstacle was running free between everyone, repeating the one word he knows, and apparently only testing the tolerance of volunteers, foreigners. I later learned that "yaay!" (rhymes with lie) means mom and with that it slid down 2 steps on my annoyance ladder.