I returned to my apartment from a lovely stay with my parents and boyfriend, and discovered a letter from The Gambia. The boy I am sponsoring had written back! For those playing catchup (I wrote about this briefly awhile ago), I am sponsoring a boy named Nfally from The Gambia. He is seven. This letter was written/translated for the family by someone at the Darsilami Social Service Centre in late October:

Nfally Jatta and his entire family are very happy to hear about the news that Nfally have picked up a sponsor and he says that he really appreciate your sponsorship.

Nfally was born on the 27 of March in the year 2006. He live in a village called Darsilami near the boarderĀ [sic] line of [Casamance] region.

Nfally is staying with his both parents and have two sisters.

Nfally’s parents are farmers and they basically relies on seasonal farming which cannot meet their living and also the family enjoys two meals daily due to their condition.

Nfally Jatta is a Jola by tribe and a Muslim by religion. Nfally is a very quite [sic] boy who like playing soccer with his friends.

The family says they beg to stop here till another good time. May God the Almighty continue to bless you and your family bye.

It is heartwarming just to receive a letter at all, and part of why I like this program. I will write something back this week. As an extra treat, Nfally also included a drawing for me. So sweet.

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Novel Update

My novel is now in the capable hands of several other writers and editors.

It is now out of mine.

Ahhh! I sent the draft out, and was pretty excited about that. I am excited about that. And about a day later, I started freaking out a little. It was like all of a sudden all the scenes I wanted to fix climbed out of their locked boxes and yelled, “Hey! It’s time! I’m ready! Fix all of it!”

And of course, I can’t. Because I need to let it chill. It’s time to step away. But all the scenes!

It’s about 160 pages long. This is a thing. A real thing. Whoa.

The Gambia

I’m sponsoring a child from The Gambia. I’ve donated to a lot of charities in the past. This was one of those groups on the streets who managed to get me, and with the knowledge I might just donate once and cancel (rent’s tough), I signed up. A couple weeks later, I got the information on my child – the one matched directly to me. He is named Nfally. And I moved the deductions to my credit card, and will keep it up as long as I can. They know how to work the personal touch.

Especially because I can write him letters. Someone will translate, and he can send letters back. What to write to a 7-year-old across the world? He only speaks Jola, which I would love to translate, but there are over 9 dialects which I’m bound to get wrong. They have rhymes as a subject in nursery school (or perhaps they meant he is good at rhyming), and it is his best subject. I asked if he could write a poem.