So I left Manhattan this morning, a 6 foot tall man. I weigh 170 lbs (or 12 stone to you Brits) and I will shrink whilst in The Gambia where my diet will consist mainly of rice, but I hope to grow. Not in height but as a man. That sounds profoundly crap reading it back.

I have not shrunk today. My first stop on my journey to The Gambia has been Philadelphia for a staging event where I met the 17 other volunteers I will be working with for the next 27 months in The Gambia on education projects. We have done the inevitable ice breaking tasks that come with a meeting of people who have never met before at a Holiday Inn. I don’t think I’m particularly good at ice breaking, in part due to my desire to be good at ice breaking. I think I’m slightly too competitive at ice breaking exercises. The aim of ice breaking is not to break the most ice – it is to be aware you are breaking ice with someone else. I worry I got a bit bossy in an exercise where you had to rearrange people with dots on their backs without speaking, I think I was maybe too expressive with my hands – rather than breaking ice I was conducting traffic. 

I have grown today – I ate two of the most beautifully deliciously big Philly cheesesteaks for dinner at the amazing Jim’s Steak. Whiz in a can is perhaps the greatest American invention.


And Hall and Oates have eaten there.


So there.

Tomorrow – flight to Brussels, then to The Gambia.

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