Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Senegambia, The Gambia, December 11, 2018

I enjoyed my room until about lunch when I decided to go to Senegambia, really back to Gaya for the AC and wifi.  On my way out of the compound, I stopped to talk to Ahmadou, who wasn't home, and his Mom, to see if there was something I could buy her.  She seemed a bit flustered, shy and maybe embarrassed but finally said 'onions'.  Onions?  Okay.  So, I left to walk about 350 meters to get a taxi and visited with a man walking in the road who had just seen his spiritual guide because he needed advice about what to do with his musical career.  His shaman told him to just have faith and things would work out.  They prayed a lot together too he said.  Continuing on, whom should I meet but Ahmadou who was just coming home from the market.  I told him I wanted to go there so he took me.  I told him I was looking for onions so we bought about seven for 50 cents.  I was surprised at how few we got for the price and asked if there wasn't a place we could buy a big bag.  Sure he said and we went to a shop where I bought twenty-five pounds for $21.  Then I told him they were for his family.  He was quite gracious as we struggled to carry them home.  He called his brother who eventually showed up on his bike and he took them home.  Then Ahmadou invited me for lunch but I declined because I was on my way to modernity.  I asked if I could come tomorrow and if his Mom made yassa.  Sure he said.  So I'm going tomorrow around 11 to help his mom make yassa and to have lunch with the family.  He also invited me for tea tonight when I get back.  He headed home and I caught a cab for 43 cents which is the niconew price.  Niconew is how you say black person.  The little kids call us toubab which means white person so now when they call me that, I reply with niconew.  Anyway, the cabby was explaining that he has three wives and is searching for his fourth but that's all that's allowed in the Muslim faith.  They live in different houses and are fine being Wife 1, Wife 2 and Wife 3, at least according to him.  He seemed pretty arrogant so they're probably glad to get rid of him.  He only has five children so far. His Grandfather is responsible for developing Senagambia.  He pointed out all the land his Grandfather donated to the area and all the trees he planted.  He even pointed out his house.  Seems rather strange to me that he's driving a cab but TIA.  He also said that he can make anywhere from 150 to 1500 dalasi/day ($4.50 to $45).  He says he doesn't chase the toubabas, he relies on Gambians.  

I spent an hour or so at the Gaya - so nice and cool but only okay wifi because there were too many of us using it. They play a cd of Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones and Dean Martin over and over.  Oh well.  At least it's not pop.

From there, Leanne and I went to the beach where I had a few beers, swam in the ocean and pool, then made my way home for supper which was really bad.  It's unfortunate because every cook group tries so hard but sometimes it just doesn't work.  I got in a mini van to come home and there were 16 of us - 4 across in 4 rows sardines in.  The niconews get a kick out of having a toubab traveling with them and it just so happened I was sitting in the back and was the first to get off.  I yelled up to the front not to forget I was going to the camping and soon it came into view.  They pulled over and two people had to get out to let me out.  People from our group have been paying 100, 200 and up to 300 ($8) dalasi to get to Senegambia, when 43 cents gets you a priceless cultural experience!

 Now enjoying my room!  Looking forward to more Senagambia tomorrow after my lunch of yassa!  

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