This is my final blog as we are due to fly home on Tuesday, gosh how two years have flown especially this year. Last year at the same time we were looking forward to Dale’s arrival to The Gambia. I can honestly say we have experienced good and bad times whilst living here but at least we made that choice others aren’t so lucky and do live hand to mouth earning only a small daily income. For me I am going to miss the glorious sunshine although not the humid stickiness which we are currently experiencing where you have to shower three times a day and change your knickers just as frequently. I will also miss my work colleagues from Diana Mariam, I am so grateful to Mary who took me on as I would not have had the pleasure to meet such lovely people of which I hope to keep in touch with via email. Also the domada sauce and delicious mangoes which are currently in season I just can’t get enough off them. Even Serrekunda market has become a cultural favourite which I will cherish with all the hustle and bustle and the thrill of getting a good price by bartering. What I am not going to miss is the hand washing of clothes and cooking of dinner in this heat I can now understand why the Gambians cook outside under the shade of a tree, I just don’t know how they keep going all day long. As for Paul he has just coached his last game of rugby with the rhino’s so will miss the boys from the team. He received a leaving present from them of a sparkly trousers suit (Top Deck here I come) and a wood carved rhino which was engraved with all their names.
He will also miss the teaching at the college which he has found so rewarding and he was very emotional when some of his students thanked him for teaching them. Also he say’s he will miss the vibrant colours of daily life as the street vendors sit selling their piles of peppers, onions, carrots and fish which he passes on his way into work through the busy roads of Serrekunda. He certainly is not going to miss the bumster boys and beggars who just grind you down trying to get something from you (the white man giveth). As for Abigail and Bradley they will miss the wildlife especially the pretty birds no wonder it is one of the top destinations for twitchers. Although it will be sad to leave we have been counting down the days and are all looking forward to seeing family and friends who we have missed so much. It has been a rich and rewarding experience for us all and one which we will treasure for the rest of our lives. I now realise how lucky I am to have been born and brought up in the UK where you are not afraid to speak out for what’s right.
YIPPEE HOME HERE WE COME!!