Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pretty (and Smart) in Pink

I’m not gonna lie – today’s video is very near and dear to me. It features a good friend and amazing Peace Corps Volunteer, Kelsey Lyle, and it features a very talented and inspirational woman, Miss Mariama Jallow, affectionately known as “MJ” to friends and colleagues. MJ is the owner of a successful hairdressing salon, which also trains Gambian women to be professional stylists. The Peace Corps connection comes in the form of life skills classes. For the unacquainted, life skills are a series of lessons that focus on empowering the individual through positive behavior. Topics can range from how to say no to drugs to balancing finances. In the case of MJ’s salon, the ladies are educated on peer pressure, sugar daddies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and even on the female anatomy. A majority of the students are single parents and divorcees who married very young and did not finish their education, and are looking to help themselves and their families. MJ’s desire to empower women and the volunteers’ determination to break the language barrier and impart valuable life lessons are a match made in heaven, as the video showcases.

So, without further ado, I present the pink paradise of Brikama, MJ’s Hairdressing Express Beauty Salon and Skills Training Center.

Music credit: Lively Up Yourself by Bob Marley and The Wailers

Sunday, September 11, 2011

This Old Hut: Scott Jorgensen

You’ve seen television shows like MTV Cribs, which takes viewers into the ultra-glamorous homes of actors, rappers, and flavor of the month celebrities. Now, in an ongoing segment here at You Are Here Only, comes a look into the homes of the hardworking, heavy-sweating volunteers of Peace Corps: The Gambia. In the inaugural episode of This Old Hut, Environment Volunteer Scott Jorgensen (and his faithful feline companion, Carlos) gives us a tour of his hut, located in the heart of a Fula village in the North Bank Region of The Gambia.

Music credit: The Suburbs by Arcade Fire