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- Tour the World: Destination: West Africa plus a Book Giveaway!!
- Saide - African Storybook Initiative
10 Women Who Changed Science Fiction — A Gathering of the Tribes Magazine
Tao for Thai food Kora - Gambian and nice cocktails, and chocolate cake as big as your arm! But getting pricier by Gambian standards. We also found an amazing beach bar, you can walk to it along the beach from the Senegambia. It's called Anna's the Sand Plover. Food here is cheap - but despite appearances it is excellent.
Tour the World: Destination: West Africa plus a Book Giveaway!!
The ramshackle bar fronts onto a deserted stretch of beach, but can be reached by car if you're brave. Check out the rickety plank bridge to get to the "car park"! Lunch here can be had for as little as a quid. Fill your pockets with sweets for the kids if you go out walking, who will see you and demand "minties" they mean sweets. Good for photo ops : Don't let someone put something round your wrist or neck, even if they say "gift" - they want a gift back.
Don't book excursions through your tour guide, go direct. Horse riding can be had for dalasi for 30 minutes on the beach, but if you're savvy it can be had for much less - keep an eye out for posters advertising local stables.
Go in the morning - yes, it's cooler late afternoon, but the horses are shattered and it'll be all you can do to urge them into a feeble trot! This is an amazing country, with amazing, friendly folk who will literally make something out of nothing, and if you get out and about a bit you will discover loads.
If you're the lazing-by-the-pool type then this place is ideal - but you'll miss so much! And yes, the wedding was wonderful. My holiday to The Gambia was phenomenal! The place exudes charm like one can never imagine! Being the smallest country on mainland Africa with a population of about 1,, people, I felt like The Gambia would be the perfect place to experience Mama Africa as a novice.
Oozing with excitement and a little fear of the unknown, I embarked on an experience of a lifetime! Here goes Gambians are very amicable people; they respect themselves, each other and show humanity in every way possible! They greet each other with a smile and a glow in their eyes. They are very generous, share everything and would give you their last dollar if you really needed it!
Walking through the streets of the capital Banjul we were invited to join in on a communal meal, just because we glanced at the pot In the nightclub guys would ask for a dance and would apologise when you say no In the streets vendors would tell you to have a lovely day after you declined the offer to buy their goods Everywhere you go guys would automatically start looking out for you as if you were their little sister When I was contemplating extending my stay and mentioned it to one person, within minutes several strangers were on their mobile phones ringing around to try and find me accommodation!
In The Gambia everyone has your back Serious crime is virtually non-existent and if you ask a local when was the last murder they would struggle to remember! I felt safer walking the streets at 2am in The Gambia than at 2pm in London! Guns and knives are very few and far between and the fights that we witnessed were fist fights which were subdued within minutes. People run towards the fights, not away from them as there is no fear of gunshots, stabbing or bottle pelting!
If you butt into someone or step on their toe, THEY would be the first to say sorry. We went to a midnight reggae beach party with hundreds of rasta guys smoking d herb Gill and I being 2 of about 5 females at the party! Where else in this world would you see a bongo natty dread smoking a gigantic spliff and sipping a fruit cocktail or a fanta!? Only in The Gambia! One thing I've learnt is never ever judge a person from the way they look Had that been in any other country we would have ran and bawl fo murdaaaa Well wait until you meet The Gambians! If they were any more laid back they would be horizontal!
Everyone would greet you and unless you end the conversation they would talk for hours! Once you chat with someone and exchange names, you are considered a good friend!
Saide - African Storybook Initiative
Many that we spoke to work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, yet they are always full of energy and enthusiasm for life. Stress seems to be non-existent in The Gambia It is the first place I've been where people don't know if it's Wednesday or Sunday However, they are very tolerant, non-judgemental people and they make every effort to welcome and accommodate persons of different cultures and beliefs.
Reggae and rasta culture is loved in The Gambia! In every taxi, every restaurant, in many nightclubs you would hear the latest reggae tunes blasting and everyone singing along. I've never seen so many people wearing locs in one place Everywhere I went I would hear people referring to me as "Rasta baby"! No matter what time of day or night There is something for everyone We found ourselves at Solomon's Beach bar almost every day and by the 2nd visit our seats were reserved along with a special welcome.
Then we would eat the tastiest freshly caught butterfish with chips and chit chat with Ousman or Sulayman ALL day, while one of their colleagues covered their jobs!
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Transportation after the club is plenty Serrekunda market was truly an experience, with every possible product being sold I especially loved that they roamed freely It was hilarious learning that they have been raised to only eat fish This seldom happens though Here we visited the slave museum and saw the remnants of the cells in which captured Africans were housed in appalling conditions to be shipped off to "The New World" With such a dark past, it truly amazed me how The Gambian people are always so happy and cheerful!
Life really goes on! As we were about to leave James Island guess who showed up to film a documentary!?!
Mr Rockmond Dunbar As he passed right in front of us It appears that The Gambia is now a haven for older women seeking toy boys. I had heard about it before but I didn't expect it to be so prevalent! In one instance, we saw a 70 yr old lady, barely able to walk holding hands and being affectionate with a Gambian man in his 20s! This was all hilarious to watch but it did sadden me a bit. In fact, many of the local men seemed to think that we were looking for toy boys too, being 2 women on holiday alone!
The hassle rained On more than one occasion after refusing to dance or speak with men in the club, I was told "Sister don't think you better than me because you have lighter skin"! I was shocked, hurt and appalled to say the least! I made sure to educate each and every one of them My hair is more afro-kinky than yours"! Many are categorised by the locals as "Lebanese" and there is a bit of a divide between them.
The foreigners tend to stick together, liming in the posh bars and cruising the strip in their luxury cars, and so the locals feel like they don't integrate and refer to them as racists. We met some amazing guys from North Africa who really went out of their way to make sure we had an enjoyable time One even came up to me and said "You don't wanna talk to the black guys but you would talk to the Arabians"! In true Gambian style, he later apologised for his wayward remark!
The negative aspects are barely noticeable and the positives are countless! The Gambia is my Utopia We are a well-travelled Asia,North America, Europe and central America couple in our early 30s but this is our first time in Africa. The hotel itself was quite good for a 3 stars rating in a 3rd world country. I did quite a bit of research before we went and yet was a bit annoyed with the bumster situation.
We checked into our hotel and went for a walk on the beach Prob not the best thing since they can tell that you just arrive by your lack of tan! We kept saying no thanking and yet people kept on following us. Daniel is a great example to the younger students. He founded the Community Tidiness Care which is a volunteer cleanup team that picks up garbage and tidies streets and back alley ways. Daniel is also on our Mercy Ministry Team taking care of widows and doing renovations in their rooms.
That is our Mat to Mattress Program. Click on the highlights to see more on this. James Kollie is in Grade He has been with us for several years. These boys all have a tragic story of their suffering through the war and losing their parents or being separated as they fled to survive. He is a new student this year.
He came in very sick from a very deplorable situation.