It’s a waiting game, down here in The Gambia…when in Rome…


‘Domanding, domanding’ – slowly, slowly – local Mandinka language.

Waiting…again. Helen & the Short Walk in the Gambian Bush team, 2009, West Africa expedition. Image © Jason Florio

Update 7th November 2012

‘Patience is the key to joy…‘ according to Sufi poet, Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi

As some of you are well aware, we have been in The Gambia, West Africa, since the 16th October, to make final preparations for the ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1000km source to sea African odyssey’. And, if things had gone to plan, we were due to pick up our shipment of gear from Banjul Port – on the 21st October – which had been shipped in a container from the UK. However, it is now 7th November and we are still waiting!

The boat, it seems, was ‘erroneously delivered to Lagos, Nigeria’ – via a drop off for a week in Antwerp, where the shipping company eventually found it and put it back on another boat, supposedly bound for The Gambia.

The update we had from the shippers this morning was that the container (which also contains many other people’s boxes/ items) has to sail from Lagos, all the way to back Antwerp – a shipping regulation (Antwerp being the main port for shipments to West Africa) – then, and only then, can it be sent back down to The Gambia. Go figure.

So. Stating the utterly obvious. We are delayed. And. We don’t really know for how long. Until we hear back from the shipping company later today. That is, once they have sussed out potential arrival dates, which, we are beginning to suspect, they pull randomly from thin air – or, better still, their backsides – based on the runaround we’ve had so far!

We will wait. We have little choice…most of the gear is for camping whilst on the expedition and/or from our sponsors who we have a commitment to fulfill – i.e. photos of their kindly donated products in use.

Little Gambian girl, dressed for Tobaski, at the prayer ground – Kartong, The Gambia, West Africa. Image © Jason Florio 2012

In the meantime, we’ll keep busy with all the wondrous and colourful sights, which are around us here in The Gambia. Such as Tobaski last weekend – one of the biggest Muslim celebrations of the year.  And, this weekend, we’re hoping to head to a traditional naming ceremony in the town of Brikama. Plus, we need to practice, practice, practice, our canoeing on the river.

Enough to keep us busy until our boat comes in.

Updates as and when…

The Florios (H & Flo)

Mantra for the coming days: Patience is the key to joy…patience is the key to joy…patience is the key to joy…

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About River Gambia Expedition 2012

Jason Florio, FRGS: award-winning photojournalist. Helen Jones-Florio: expedition & photography producer. 2009: The couple co-led the West Africa expedition 'A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush - a 930km African odyssey' - the first circumnavigation of the small West African country, by foot, with two donkeys and a cart. Resulting in the award-winning series of portraits of Gambian village chiefs (Alkalo's) www.floriophoto.com (under 'Projects') http://930kmafricanodyssey.tumblr.com/ 2012-13: The couple co-led their second West Africa expedition - 'River Gambia Expedition - 1000km source-sea Africa odyssey' over-landing for 400km and canoeing the River Gambia for 720km https://rivergambiaexpedition2012.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Adventure, Carbon footprint, Culture, Documentary, Environmental, Expedition, Fundraising, Guinea, Photography, photography, Photojournalism, Portraits, River Gambia, Senegal, Sponsorship, The Gambia, tradition, Travel, West Africa and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It’s a waiting game, down here in The Gambia…when in Rome…

  1. sarsarama says:

    oh you sweet things – good luck and keep breathing. Perhaps another small project will materialize while you wait. where one door gets jammed, another opens… or something like that?
    xoox

    • thanks lovely…something did actually come along. Flo is going to make some photos for Concern Universal (NGO) – whilst we are on the journey. If we’d have left when we did, we wouldn’t have made the connection with the director from CU 🙂 Also, we’ve just hooked up with an amazing Kora player and griot (from a long line of griots) who we are going to make a little film of him. More on both coming soon!

      I hope you are celebrating over there?! How wonderful to wake up to Obama being voted in for a 2nd term. How could it be any other way? Have a ‘cheers’ for us with everyone xxxH & Flo

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