And I am happy and so grateful to have been able to visit my ancestral homeland. It was an experience that touched me in ways I cannot explain and left me with a sense of wholeness for the first time in my life.
I have to take time before I begin my recap, to thank my hosts in Senegal, Idy Sow and Moussa Sall, and their families. They opened their home to us and were the guides that became our friends and without them our trip would not have been the same.
Also many, many thanks to our hosts in Guinea Bissau, Maritza, Freddy, Raquel, Flavia, Juan, Lucas and a host of people from the many villages we visited.
Also a big thanks to Rashida and my new family, the Djalo's, who welcomed me so kindly into their family.
And last but never least, my thanks to Randii and Willie who shared this wonderful journey with me. I know they feel the same sense of completion as I do.
During the trip I kept a daily diary of our journey. Over the next couple of weeks I will share our experiences here along with pictures and videos. I hope you will stop by and share the journey.
This is the story of 3 DNA traced descendants of Guinea Bissau who meet as strangers in America for a 10-day journey to Africa to visit their ancestral homeland. Our return marks an historic event for the country of Guinea Bissau. We also wanted to do something for the people as Guinea Bissau is the 4th poorest country in the world so we put together a project called "It Takes A Village". We could not have imagined the joy that we would bring to the remote little village of Djati, Guinea Bissau.Thurs 2/16/12
At the airport I had to go through the full service line at Virgin America even though I did online check in - to pay for luggage. Virgin America charges $25/bag (I brought 2. One for my clothes and the other filled with goodies for the children in Guinea Bissau). After paying for my bags I proceeded to the security check point. Got through security quickly and guess what??? They did not choose me for the random love pat down (a first). This could be the start of something grand!! About 15 minutes after I arrived at my gate, and we boarded our flight. I really like Virgin, the planes are new and have a contemporary feel and also partly because they have TV and I can watch MSNBC and feel just like I'm at home. I ordered my sandwich, set up my Wifi ($14.95 ) and I've been happily emailing and checking Facebook.
This morning I also received an update re my naming ceremony. Rashida (now my sis) told me that for my renaming I needed a traditional dress and that they would get me fabric in Guinea Bissau. She said a dress would be made for me and asked for my measurements. Later I received this picture showing a sample of the material. I think they did a great job of picking colors!
My new name will be, Nenegale Djalo (mother of the house) more on that later. Anyway, I am very pleased. I await a picture showing the style of the dress.
Oh, and wouldn't you know it - I forgot my camera cable so I won't be able to upload any photos on this trip unless I can find a cable in DC tomorrow. Always something!
|Randii and I meeting for 1st time
****UPDATE NOTE added10/11/13- For those of you beginning here. If you want to continue following my journey to Africa, please click on newer post - Journey goes from 2/28/12 - 3/15/12