December 28th marked the end of my 18th trip around the sun. The day started out with exploration of the Kedogou gold mines, talking with people who migrated into the Kedogou region in search of gold and the different towns that have sprung up out of the trade. Following that, we went back to Kedogou city for a delicious lunch of Yassa Ginaar by Sophie (not toubaab). Next came our “quick” pack up, which ended up taking about an hour and a half. The ride to Bandafassi was brief and we arrived at our campement at the base of a mountain just as the sun was beginning to set. We began our ascent up the mountain, stopping by a Bedik village which is hidden amongst the trees above the town. A quick boulder scramble took us to our destination; the lookout point. As the sun set, I was pleasantly surprised with mountain top birthday pancakes sizzling on a camp stove thanks to the amazing group. We ate pancakes smeared with chocopain and honey and took in the view, watching the sun set on my 18th year. I am so filled with gratitude for the amazing experiences I’ve had throughout this year and this birthday was certainly one for the books.