Thursday 19th October 2012
This is how are day started: auto breakdown#1
Once we got the motor started (putting fuel in helped somewhat), we made our way to the Senegambia area for a meeting at the American Embassy. A successful meeting at that, as they asked us if we would consider exhibiting the work from this forthcoming expedition, River Gambia Expedition, and from our 2009 walk around the Gambia – ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush’ = when we finish the journey. We’re really hoping we can work that out as it would be achieving something that we’ve dreamed about doing since the 2009 expedition. Fingers crossed!
And this is how the day went on, after we left the American Embassy (in the background): auto breakdown#2
Once we got the motor started, again, we set off to meet with Abdou and Ebou – our Gambian team mates, in Kembujeh, a small village not too far from Brikama. We haven’t seen them in almost three years so, as you can imagine, it was an emotional greeting – from both sides – plus, Abdou and Florio (or ‘JC’, as they fondly call him all over the place here) have known each other for 15 plus years.
However, on route, we came across Africell (one of the local mobile/cell phone networks), on Kairaba Ave, who were holding special ‘Tobaski’ (the big annual Muslim festival – where 1000’s of goats and sheep are ritually slaughtered) competition – text to a certain number and your name could be picked out to get your free goat or sheep! When we went past earlier in the day this pen was crammed full of the fattened, four-legged – bleating-like ‘we-know-what’s-coming’ – mammals. Obviously, there had been a lot of winners.
There was one stop we just had to make, on route to Kembujeh to meet with our Gambia team mates, in the town of Brikama – to (completely) surprise an old friend.
Dr Sanyang is a blog post (or several!) all on his own…so, we’ll leave that story for another time.
The River Gambia Team – 2012!!
And, the surprise was all ours as Abdou’s lovely daughter, Ole – who we hung out with last time we were here (when she was about 14 years old) – appeared with her new baby. Ole seems such a young thing herself. Nevertheless, motherhood suits her so well.
The day ended, just as it had started – auto breakdown#3
Despite all that, the kids are still smiling – as they always see to do here.
A full on day, in 90+ degree heat. But, it’s great to be back in The Gambia. It’s a place that we both love and, equally and individually, have a long history here. Plans are fully underway for leaving for Guinea – the start of our expedition proper.
We’ll be updating you with more news and photos very soon. So, we do hope you’ll stop by again and that you’ll enjoy the journey with us.
Fonyata domanding (see you later!).
P.S. a thank you from us both (and the Sandele Eco Retreat cat!)