Hello everyone! This is our first blog post, as we had a very busy introduction week to The Gambia. We saw a little of what the country has to offer and met wonderful people. The first day we walked through the village Tanji where our guesthouse ‘Kairoh Garden’ is. We visited 2 primary schools: an English one and an Arabic one, where we both were welcomed with beautiful songs. In the afternoon we went to the big fish market at the beach, which smelled a little 😉
Wednesday we had our first meeting with YEP, the Youth Empowerment Project in the Gambia. We had a good chat on the findings of last years report of the Mala Project and heard what has happened since. Then we went to the Serrekunda market, which is a market that takes place 24/7 which was very crowded and had a lot to offer. Pim bought the Gambian national football kit and Cornelien found a beautiful bracelet she liked. After this we went to MyFarm, an innovation and educational farm in Kunku, run by a funny dutch lady named Kelly. Unfortunately, Sanne felt sick this day and stayed at home.
Thursday, our supervisor Barbara took us to Senegal, where we visited a Skill Centre which is running for more than 20 years! This was to show how the neighbours of The Gambia run their skill centres, more practically focussed.
Friday was a special day, as all three of us were partnered with a different Gambian contact of Barbara to join them for an entire day to really get a view into the Gambian culture and how things work around here. Sanne went with Yama, a nurse, Cornelien joined Bintu, a women who sells fish on the Tanji fish market and Pim worked at the Garage of Bambo.
On saturday we went to Kuntaur, where we stayed for the weekend at the other Kairoh Garden. This was supposed to be a 6 hour drive, but it took us 11,5 hours due to a breakdown of the car… But we stayed positive, as Gambian people say: The full Gambian experience! On Sunday in Kuntaur in the morning we visited another school and a community garden, and in the afternoon we went for an exciting boat safari. We saw chimps, monkeys, birds and even hippos! We were all hyped up about this and took a lot of pictures. On monday we returned to Tanji and on our way back we stopped by the farmers-and living market in Kuntaur. Now it’s time for us to work on the project and we will keep you posted about our progress!