Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We Sing Our Praise to Thee

>> Something I love is the really amazing and incredible coincidences that I run into here :) Here's a bunch recently all involving Illinois:

  1. My mosquito net is from Roselle, Illinois.

  2. The notebooks I purchased (because mine were full) were made in Downers Grove, Illinois.

  3. One of my carpenters' favorite hats is a Chicago Bulls hat.

  4. One of my favorite drivers is never without his favorite Chicago Bears hat.

  5. A man at the checkpoint to get to my village was wearing a University of Illinois t-shirt complete with the Chief Illliniwek symbol.

  6. A man at the recent sport meet at my school had a WGN Radio / Chicago Bears fanny pack

  7. Another man at the same meet was wearing an old-school Chicago Bears jacket

  8. A man on the side of the road (on my way to Freetown yesterday) was wearing a Brian Urlacher jersey.

It's really pretty surreal to look and see CHICAGO on someone's shirt here in Africa but it always brings a smile to my face and makes me realize the world is a little bit smaller. But, I saved the best for last:

SORI BANGURA, a man of high esteem in my town, met me a few months ago. Our friendship was easy, he is a very productive farmer and often has cold beer and good stories to tell. The reason he's in this post? You'll never guess his alma mater. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, class of 1969. Your humble author? The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain, class of 2009. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES of me finding another alumni from my university in my tiny village of Gbendembu?! That smile on your face? On mine too. I love and miss you all :)


  1. I think you have a few too many rs in "Illlliniwek."

    But this is a most curious post, I do admit! even if your "You'll never guess..." riddle at the end wasn't very dramatic.

    (don't forget my crappy sense of humor while you're over there -- of course this is all said in jest!)

  2. Hi Bryan!

    I'm invited to serve in Sierra Leone as well, leaving this June, and I recently found your blog while looking through the peace corps journal site. I had a silly/quick question for you, did you bring your laptop with you? And did it seem like many of the other volunteers last year did? I can't seem to decide if I should or not so any helpful advice would be appreciated! Thanks so much, look forward to reading about your adventures!

  3. hi chelsea,
    congratulations! :)

    i brought my laptop and although ive had some africa-related problems (i.e. a generator here surged and damaged it), i'm glad i brought it. it still works and its a really great option to go home and watch a movie or listen to lady gaga or type something personal.

    i think about a dozen of us, out of the 39 originally brought them, although out of those 12 i think half or 8 of them were the little netbook thingies.

    so, its up to you! :)

    you'll have a way to keep it charged since you'll have to have a way to keep your phone charged (PC policy) and it's always great to have that option.

    (private dance parties are also something a laptop can facilitate..)