You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category.

The Jallow Family (minus a few) - L to R: Mariama, Mamadu, Fatou, Jainaba. Idrisa, Buba, Dawda (me) and Hawa

Well I’ve been home for about a week and a half now. It’s great to be home, although it was weird at first, having to readjust to life here and dealing with culture shock all over again. All that’s left now is to finish up a few reports from the trip. Things aren’t quite as exciting here in Canada but I am looking forward to starting school again in the fall.

I had a great experience in The Gambia and I definitely learned a lot. It seems so far away now though, even though it was only one and a half weeks ago that I was there. The best parts of the trip for me were the people, learning and experiencing their culture, as well as gaining a lot of practical learning about working in international development. The amazing nature that exists in the country as well as in Senegal was also a highlight for me.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading my posts, I hope it has been worthwhile for you.

In addition to my photos I’ve flickr, I’ve also got some on Facebook that you can check out if you want: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1653561992776.71254.1648830042&l=0b6778da27&type=1  and  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1801546492296.77903.1648830042&l=b6ecb53274&type=1 .

Thanks again and bye for now,

Dan

Advertisements

Hippo in the River Gambia, Senegal

Last week we decided to head over to Senegal for an adventure and a break from work. We took a series of sept-places (modified station wagons that fit 7 people) and bush taxis, and managed to make it all the way to Tambacounda (aka Tamba – see the google map) on the first day. Senegal’s official language is French, so we had a great time practicing our French, although it was difficult at times as our French was not perfect, and even many people in Senegal do not speak much French (ie. it is their second language, just as it is my second language). From there we hired a 4×4 to take us to Niokolo Koba National Park, which is the largest park in Senegal. We had a great time cruisin’ through the park observing baboons, cobs, bushbucks, warthogs, and different types of birds (more photos are here). We were hoping to see a lion or two and maybe an elephant but it turns out that there are very few of them in the park. We stayed the night at L’Hôtel Simenti for a bargain price, since it’s the offseason and they have very few visitors. The hotel had a great view of the River Gambia.

View of the River

In the morning, we went for a pirogue tour down the river to try our luck at spotting hippos. After a while we came across a family of four of them. It was really cool to see these massive animals swimming and shooting jets of water into the air, even if we did only see the tops of their heads. We also saw some crocs.

Later we headed back to Tamba where we hired another car to take us to some of the sites around Kédougou. While we had some car troubles (the gas station sold us dirty gas), we eventually made it to Dindefelo Cascades, as well as the Bédick village of Iwol. Iwol is situated on the top of a mountain (or large hill, depending on what you’re used to – after driving in from The Gambia any large hill looks like a mountain), with some fantastic scenery as well as intriguing history and culture. Nose piercing for women is also part of the Bédick culture.

Bédick woman with nose piercing

At Dindefelo we went for a hike up the mountainside. Our “guide” (turns out he wasn’t a legitimate guide and he overcharged us) took us to see Les Dents, which is 11 large pieces of the mountain resembling teeth, La Source, which is the source of the waterfall, as well as a cave where people used to live, but now is only home to a few bats and wasps.

Dindefelo Cascades

Afterwards our driver dropped us off in Tamba, and the next morning we started out for home in The Gambia. We had an experience getting back, which is normal when travelling anywhere here, as we bartered for ticket/baggage prices and had various unexpected transfers, stops, and police checks.

Yesterday we visited a Tidal Irrigation site in Sapu. Basically how Tidal Irrigation works is a series of canals and gates are constructed in the rice fields, and when the tide of the river rises (this portion is freshwater), the water enters the fields and can be used for irrigation. The gates are used to stop water from being lost into the river, and well as releasing excess water when there is too much in the fields. This process has a huge advantage over the previous method of pumping, since no fuel is required; only the operation of the gates and cleaning of the canals. The reliable water supply also allows for harvesting twice throughout the year. I found it very interesting how using the rivers natural behaviours can be so beneficial for the local people.

Canal and gates system

Lately we have been wrapping up work with SWMS and GAM-Solar, while writing our final report for our internship. These three months have flown by and it’s crazy to think that I’ll be back home on Sunday! I suppose this will be my last post until I get home since the next couple days will likely be very busy while we work on our report, say our goodbyes, and prepare to go home.

So, thank you for following along with my summer so far and I hope it has been interesting and enjoyable for you!

Until next time,

Dan / Dawda Sonko Jallow

Ruins of Fort James, on Kunta Kinteh Island

Good day!

Yesterday we decided to take the day off work (well, we went in briefly just to confirm that they had nothing for us to do) and head to one of The Gambia’s most historical sites: Kunta Kinteh Island (or James Island). Fort James is situated on the island, and this is where slaves were held before being shipped to the Americas. It was quite an experience walking through the ruins of the old fort. The island was also in a strategic location to guard the upstream portion of the River Gambia. While the British controlled the island for most of the colonial period, there were also pirates and merchants who occupied the island at various times. The fort was also destroyed twice by the French and once by an accidental gunpowder explosion.

To get there we took a number of taxis, a ferry and a pirogue (a small wooden boat). Just as we were heading out to the island on our pirogue, we could see rain in the distance, and on the way back, the rain was literally right on our heels. As soon as we docked back on the shore, the rain started up and we were fortunately able to make it to cover. Afterwards we had lunch at the restaurant there, and then checked out the museum.

On Friday we went upcountry with Kebba to see some of the PIWAMP job sites. It was great to see some of the work firsthand and to spend some time in the provinces. We stayed the night in Soma at an agricultural training centre. Sleeping was a challenge for me though because of the heat and because someone in the adjacent room sounded like they were cutting down trees with a chainsaw… I decided to move outside where it was cooler and to put some distance between myself and the lumberjack, and despite bringing my bug net I ended up getting devoured by mosquitoes (they somehow always find a way to get in!). In the morning, we continued on our journey, stopping at more PIWAMP locations. We managed to get a good look at some more dikes and spillways, as well as bridges and causeways that SWMS builds to help farmers access fields and markets (otherwise getting there would be near impossible, check out the photos). We also checked out some bunds (which divert water to prevent erosion) and a sluice gate. The sluice gate is part of a salt flushing system that helps remove salt from lowland fields near the river that have been flooded by the saltwater portion of the River Gambia. After a couple of years the fields will be rehabilitated and ready for crop growth again.

That’s all for now! We are also planning to visit River Gambia National Park and hopefully Senegal as well over the next few weeks, so I’ll keep you posted about that.

Dan

Nbatda,

On the weekend I had the opportunity to go on a meter reading/maintenance trip with GAM-Solar. I went with Peter, who is the Water Division Coordinator for GAM-Solar, along with Ba Esa the driver, Malik the technician, and Modou the plumber (unfortunately they only had room for one of us so Yena, John and I had to draw straws to see who got to go, and I was the lucky winner). We left on Friday and arrived back home on Monday. GAM-Solar has over 80 villages with solar pumping systems in the country, and we visited about a dozen of them.

The trip consisted of stopping at various villages to read the meters of their solar pumps to determine how much water they’ve used since the last GAM-Solar visit. The villages were then billed for their water usage at a modest 2.10 Dalasis per cubic meter (1 Dalasi = approx 28 USD).  A portion of the funds go to GAM-Solar, some stay in the village to pay the watchmen of the pumps, and the rest goes to a maintenance fund. The idea is that the maintenance fund will be able to bail out the villages when their pumping systems are having problems. Part of what I want to do while I am here is look into this fund and do an assessment to see if it will be able to do that consistently, since replacement and maintenance of these solar pumping systems can be quite expensive. It might seem counter intuitive to be asking for money from people who do not have much of it when working towards development, but this is necessary to be able to provide the proper maintenance, and without proper maintenance the systems will fail and the villagers will have to resort to their previous water sources of lower quality. This also helps the villagers develop a sense of ownership of their solar pumping system, and the goal is for the villages to not rely on donor funding. Improved water sources, electricity and in some cases improved farming/irrigation techniques will hopefully help with the development of the villages in both the short and long terms.

Malik and Modou also had some maintenance work to do at a few of the sites. At one they were prepared to replace a whole pump, but they ended up being able to fix the problem by doing some wiring work. They also repaired a floater, which detects when the reservoir is full and turns the pump off to prevent overflow wastage, then turns it back on when the villagers are taking water from the reservoir. They also removed and cleaned a filter at one of the sites (see the pictures on flickr).

With only a little over 3 weeks left of our placement, we are trying to fit as much in as possible and make the most of every day. On top of the assessment I want to do on the maintenance fund, we are also helping out on one of GAM-Solar’s agricultural projects. This project has the goal of producing income for the beneficiaries to help ensure the sustainability of the project and to help the villages develop. We are also planning two more trips with Kebba from SWMS at the MoA. For the first one, we will be leaving tomorrow, and staying upcountry for one night. For the next one we will head farther inland and stay for a few nights. We are also doing some investigative work for Growing Necessity, which is a company that wants to help farmers connect with soil testing labs to help them with their crop yields (see my first blog post).

That’s all for now and I’ll be sure to keep you updated! Also feel free to post any comments or thoughts if there’s anything from my post you want to discuss.

Dan

 

Sun setting at Njawara

Jamnelly,

(Fula for ‘good afternoon’)

The meeting we had with GamSolar last week ended up going pretty well, and they invited us to come to a village called Njawara, on the North Bank, where they were doing a survey for installing a solar power system. We headed up there with our new friend, Alfusainey, on Wednesday and came back on Thursday. The financial donor for the solar system is apparently a woman who regularly comes to stay at the Njawara Cultural Camp, where there are cultural festivals at certain times of the year. It was really cool to experience village life and hospitality.

The survey involved finding the power requirements for the first phase of the project, which involves providing power for certain key buildings in the village (the mosque, the school, the clinic, the agricultural training center, and the cultural camp). The next phases will provide street lights, then bring power to individual homes. As we walked around the village, I wondered about the sustainability of installing the system. How would the villagers pay for maintenance and repairs once GamSolar’s 6-month warranty was over? Would the donor be willing to provide continued financial assistance? (solar panels usually last around 20 years, and some components of the system will need replacing sooner). But I guess if they want power, it is better to go with renewable energy than to connect to the grid.

We also saw the village’s community garden, where a solar water pump has already been installed. This pump uses the sun’s energy to pump the groundwater to an elevated reservoir. The water then flows into reservoirs on the ground level spread throughout the garden (when the taps are turned on), where villagers will use their buckets to irrigate the garden.

One of the reservoirs in the garden (above), Elevated reservoirs and solar water pump (below)

It was pretty cool to see solar power in action.

Back in Yundum, things are going well. I am now learning a third African language: Fula  (my family’s tribe is Fula). Some days I speak 5 languages… English, French (some people here speak better French than they do English), Wolof, Mandinka and Fula. Well, maybe ‘speak’ is too strong a word for Wolof, Mandinka and Fula, but I can say a few words..

I also helped some of the guys make sandcrete blocks on Saturday for the coming construction at the back of my room..or at least I tried. They let me help with mixing the sand, concrete and water, but only let me form one block. Unfortunately, it rained later that day and some of the blocks were ruined..that will likely delay the renovation of my bathroom ‘floor’.

We are still trying to figure out what exactly to focus on for the rest of our summer. We have ruled out the earth blocks option, which I mentioned in my last post, and have decided to find something more related to agriculture, water and/or soil (our original internship). GamSolar also does work with the Ministry of Agriculture, under the Gambian Lowland Development Project (GALDEP), so that was exciting for us. One possibility is to somehow relate the two during our time here. We have already seen a community garden in Lamin that GamSolar is in the process of constructing.

Thanks for reading and I’ll keep you updated with all the new events,

Dan

'Welcome' - reads the sign at my new home

Lately, as you may have deduced from my previous post, work with SWMS (Soils and Water Management Services) has been slow. Because of this, we’ve been scouting around for some additional work to help keep us occupied. Of course, SWMS is our priority, but if we could find some other area to contribute and learn, and if we could make the time for both of them, that would be ideal for us. All of this searching around though has got me thinking about what the best way for us to use our time here is.

Earlier on in our placement here, I was thinking that our time here would be mostly a learning experience, and that we wouldn’t have much to contribute here, besides a few suggestions and thoughts for SWMS. SWMS is very good at what they do, and what we’ve done with them so far is some site visits, along with some light surveying. They would be able to do this just fine without us, which is a good thing of course. I’m sure though, after we’ve seen more of their work and seen more of how things function around here, we will be able to produce a report that will be of use to them. My attitude has changed now, I am realizing that we have the potential to have a real impact here, and I am not just content to sit back and learn all of the time (as important as learning is!). We are only here for three months total, with seven or so weeks to go, so that is something we have to take into account when choosing how to use our time here. We also want to do something that utilizes our skills and different perspectives, and is something that not just anyone here could do (not taking away jobs from local people).

Back to our search for additional work, we have had a few different leads. A friend of a friend’s boyfriend has suggested doing work related to solar water pumping (the friend happens to be in The Gambia right now and the boyfriend was here in the past). This would involve research into the feasibility of using these pumps in villages. While they may be appropriate in some cases, they are also costly and maintenance can be an issue. Yena also randomly met an architect who is working on a dome structure using earth blocks, and he has asked if we would like to do some testing and research for his organization. This one is also very interesting to us as there are many benefits to using these earth blocks (environmental, cost, local materials) and to the dome structure (can avoid using expensive concrete slabs). There are a few other leads as well but we will likely not end up working with them. We are still in the process of choosing what to do, and we have a meeting scheduled with GamSolar this week which should help us choose (and we need all the help we can get – as a group, we are pretty indecisive!).

Also, I just moved into a new place. It is quite different than that previous place, since this one is a room I am renting in a village called Yundum, and the previous place was a guesthouse for tourists. Check out the photos on flickr!

Dawda

Last week didn’t go quite like I was expecting. I thought we would make a couple trips to the field and visit some sites, and maybe do some planning at the office or some kind of design work. Instead we ended up having a very slow week. Lack of funds is an issue right now and it affects the amount of work SWMS can do.

On Monday, we arrived at the office at 8am. We greeted people and waited around until around 9am, at which time we went to see two family compounds where we will likely be moving to soon. They both seem like really nice Gambian families and I can’t wait to move in! We got back to the office around 9:45am. There was some kind of miscommunication beforehand which resulted in Kebba thinking we had to go back to the Training Centre for the rest of the day. When we explained to him that we were expecting to work for the rest of the day, he said he had nothing planned for us to do and that we might as well take the rest of the day off. He also explained that SWMS isn’t doing much work right now because they are waiting for funds to come in, so there wasn’t much we could do.

On Tuesday, we came in around 9 (people generally show up to work between 8 and 9am, which is considered normal here). Today we met with the directors of GALDEP (Gambian Lowland Development Project), to learn about what they do and to see if we can get some hands on learning experience with them. GALDEP’s activities include sand removal (removing eroded sand from the uplands to get to the fertile soil underneath), fencing for farmer’s fields, market access for farmers, and storage and processing plants for farmer’s produce. This differs from what SWMS does (they perform the soil and water management portion of PIWAMP (Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project)). If SWMS doesn’t have enough work for us then it will be good to get some experience with GALDEP.

On Wednesday, the morning consisted of meeting a few more people at the office, then making another visit to the family compound where we might move into. A Peace Corps volunteer is staying at the compound too, so it was good to talk to her about how she likes it there. After that we went home.

The next day, Thursday, we went to look for the FAO library, which the past UWO interns found to be a great resource for research. We found it, pretty close to our place in Fajara. It was nice, and air conditioned, and should be a good spot to do work later on.

That concludes the week! (Friday was a day off). Needless to say, we are hoping to be busier in the future.

On Saturday, we were invited by our friend, Lamin, to attend a Naming Ceremony. A Naming Ceremony is an all-day celebration where the name for a baby is chosen (when they are roughly a year old). I’ve heard about them and was hoping to get to experience one, so I was very excited when we got the invite! (we were supposed to go fishing that day but that got cancelled, but it ended up working out for the better!).

When we arrived, some of the men were in the process of cutting up a sheep for the meal, as is the tradition. They had also slaughtered a goat earlier, and a chicken. After that they handed the meat over to the women, who cooked it in large cauldrons. Yena was given some traditional clothes, and went to help the women cook. John and I stayed with the rest of the men, and we mostly just relaxed and drank attaya. Both of us were given turns to brew the attaya, and with some good coaching by Lamin I feel like I made some progress with my skills!

At one point all the men gathered for the ceremonial part of the day, where the child’s name will be chosen and accepted by everyone there. Lamin told us that the family would have suggested a name earlier, and now the men would ‘ok’ it, and later on the women would do the same. It was a very cool experience, but somewhat odd as well for a foreigner. For the start of the ceremony, a man stood up and would start yelling at people, praising their family and saying good things about them, in order to try to get them to donate money to the child’s family (according to Lamin). Throughout the rest of the day as well, there would be women doing the same thing, only with a megaphone, trying to get money (Lamin called them Griots).

Before dark, there was dancing outside the compound, in the sandy street. It was all women there, except for one of the two drummers. They were doing traditional Mandinka dancing. Yena was dancing with them for most of the time too. The whole time I was afraid I was going to get pulled in, but I told myself, “I’m a guy, and the dancing seems to be more of a woman thing, so they probably wouldn’t want me there. Plus, I’m a foreigner so they probably wouldn’t want to make me embarrassed.” Of course, just a couple minutes later, one of Lamin’s sisters comes and grabs me by the arm, saying “Dawda, you must come dance now.” Yikes! I thought of resisting but knew it would be pointless. So I made the most of it, and although I was definitely the worst dancer there, it was a lot of fun. John was dragged in shortly after as well. We tried to get Lamin to come, but that wasn’t going to happen.

Dinner was great as well. First we had this spicy soup, then some of the goat. The goat was incredible and cooked to perfection.

All in all, a great day and a great cultural experience! We are very thankful for the Sonko’s hospitality once again!

Dan

Also, since my last post, I uploaded a song by a well known Gambian musician, Jaliba Kuyateh, and a map showing where we’ve been so far! (just click on the link to see them! or look under the Photos/Video/Music tab).

On Friday we finished the WACD-TC course, and tomorrow we will be getting into our work with Soil and Water Management Services full time. The course was great and I feel like I learned a lot about how to work with people, particularly in development, and about the Gambian way of life (from interacting with people inside and outside of the course).

One thing I really like about this culture is how the people never seem to be in a rush. For people who know me, you know that I like to take things slow, so this suits me pretty well. I’m sure though that there will be times, especially when this happens at work, when some people’s disregard for time will get to me. I appreciate how time and productivity do not carry the same weight here as they do back home, and I think that is a lot healthier and helps us to be more alive (ie. Life is not all about work and being productive!), but I suppose one can only take that so far (we’ve all got to do something productive with our time!). That probably sounds funny coming from an engineer, since we are bred to be productive and efficient.

Another thing I like is how people here are so social. Like the time thing though, there are both positive and negatives aspects to this. If privacy is something you cherish, don’t come to The Gambia. People rarely let you mind your own business when you’re walking down the street, and we’ve been told that if we get the chance to live with a family, forget about privacy! That’s the negative side. But, on the other hand, talking to lots of different people is great, we can learn so much more that way (even if they are only talking to you so they can convince you to buy something from them!).

I guess both of these things are interrelated though, since being more social takes more time, people will often be late because they ran into someone they knew on their way to work, etc.

Presidents: Earlier this week the Mauritanian president (Abdel Aziz) visited The Gambia. It was an interesting event to watch as the police closed half of the main road, and police and other emergency vehicles sped towards the airport to meet the president. A few hours later, Abdel Aziz, along with the Gambian president, Yahyah Jammeh, and an escort of around 20 vehicles, came rushing by, sirens blaring. The people, along with the kids they pulled out of school to welcome the president, all cheered. After they passed, things returned to normal. This is apparently a common occurrence, since it happens when ‘important people’ visit the country or the president is driving down the road. He also likes to throw packs of biscuits to people as he drives by. While it was exciting for us since it was our first time seeing this kind of commotion, I can’t imagine that the general public enjoys this experience very much (except the odd person who catches some biscuits!), especially the kids who get pulled out of school to stand in the hot sun and wave. As one disgruntled Gambian man around my age said “They close the road for eight hours whenever the president goes anywhere, when they only need to close it for half an hour.”

Gambian church: This morning I had the opportunity to attend a church service at an Evangelical Church. The service was great and it was definitely African: loud drums and everyone was singing their heart out during the musical part of the service. That’s at least what I imagined an African church to be like. It was neat to see some of the similarities and differences to what I’m used to back home.

I also uploaded a song by a well-known Gambian Kora player, Jaliba Kuyateh, which you can find here.

That’s all for now! I’ll let you know how our first week went soon!

Jaama Rek,

Dawda

Kortanantay (Mandinka greeting meaning “Is there peace?”),

Last week and so far this week we’ve had a really great experience at the West African Community Development Training Centre (WACD-TC). The style is quite different from any courses I’ve taken before, since the course consists mainly of discussing, presenting and working in small groups. While the course material will be very beneficial for any person wanting to do development work (course modules are: Effective Groups, Gender and Development, and Conflict Management and Peacebuilding), the best part so far for me has been to interact with the other participants in the course (all fourteen-ish of them are Gambian) and to learn from them about their culture, their views and how best to work with people in The Gambia.

One thing that has struck me so far is how important traditions, and showing respect for those traditions, are here, especially in the rural areas. For example, if a development worker wanted to do some work in a rural village, he would need to first go and greet the village head, and the village elders. After getting to know each other for a little while, they would ask him why he was visiting them, then he could tell them about what he wanted to do. Once he has shown that he respects them, the work would be able to get done, and the villagers would be eager to help. However, if he did not show the proper respect, they would see him as arrogant, and not want to work with him, even if the work would benefit them. This can seem quite different to some places back home where as long as you get the job done well it doesn’t matter how respectful you are.

The course ends next Friday, June 3rd, after that we will resume work with Soil and Water Management Services.

That is all I’m going to write about for now.  I have a few more things I want to talk about but I think they will have to wait for now.

The next post will be up soon!

Tanantay (There is peace),

Dawda (my Gambian name)

Nanga def,

Well, we’ve been here for about a week now, and I thought I would make the theme of this post about some of the lessons we’ve learned so far. I probably wouldn’t be able to fit them all in one post, but here are just a few of them.

Going to the Market

When going to the market, bartering is a must, or else expect to pay at least three times the actual value of the item. Since we are obviously not locals, market stall operators will often up the price even more, hoping that we either don’t know the actual value of the item (which is usually the case!) or that we have money to blow (which is not the case for us!). So far we’ve been taking our time buying things, since we have three months to get souvenirs etc, and trying to shop around a bit before making a purchase. This whole bartering thing is a bit overwhelming at first but we are starting to enjoy it now. We’ve only been to a few of the markets so far, and have not yet ventured to the Serekunda market, which is the most intense and crowded one in the country.

Bush Taxis

There are essentially three types of taxis from what we’ve seen in The Gambia: private taxis (small green cars, most expensive), bush taxis (small yellow cars with a green stripe) and mini-buses (beat-up old vans of any colour, least expensive). The mini-buses are usually crammed with people, so getting a spot on them can be hard. So far we’ve only ridden in the bush taxis. They drive up and down their designated stretch of road, honking at potential customers. Basically when you need one, you wave it down, get in, and it will drop you off anywhere along its route for a set fee (usually D7 or about 25 cents). Getting a taxi usually isn’t hard because they are constantly honking and trying to get you to get in their car…while this is sometimes convenient it can also be annoying when you don’t need a taxi and are just out for a stroll.

(see Kairaba Avenue photo on flickr for a picture of Bush Taxis)

Dealing with Bumsters

Bumsters are essentially scammers who are after your money. I’m sure they can come in various shapes and sizes, but the ones we’ve run into so far usually have certain things in common. A very common occurrence is when they approach us, being all friendly and nice, and then eventually ask us why we don’t recognize them. They say, “my name is so-and-so, I am the gardener/cleaner/guard at your hotel! You didn’t recognize me?!? Where were you yesterday? I got married, and I came by the hotel but you weren’t there! Please, I want you to meet my new wife, come say hi to her before we leave for our honeymoon. We are leaving tomorrow and she is just over there around the corner!” A lot of times they will pull out a “guest list” of people who attended the wedding and donated money, and will pressure you into giving some too. The first time this happened to us, we bought most of it, because we still didn’t know who worked at our place. We did become wary though when the guy asked us to come with him to see his wife. Since then we’ve heard the “wedding story” around five times. There are also other similar stories used but the bumsters, but they all have a similar outline.

After going through a couple experiences like that we can now usually recognize the bumsters right away, and we try to have some fun with it. These people are also only in the tourist areas so it is possible to avoid them too.

Be careful where you take photos

We had an incident where taking a camera out at the wrong time caused us a bit of a hassle…although everything turned out fine. We learned when not to pull out your camera, even if your intended picture is innocent, and that certain people can get very angry if they think their picture is being taken.

Also

Don’t be alarmed if you see men in camouflage, armed with AK Assault Rifles, running towards the road shouting and taking cover behind bushes on the Atlantic Road between Fajara and Bakau. Chances are they are only training. This happened to us. We were unsure of what to do so we just kept walking. There were other soldiers on the road watching the trainees, and they thought this was pretty funny as we nervously walked past.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading! I also posted some new photos on flickr, so feel free to check them out (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62626435@N08/).

Jaama rek,

Dan

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 16 other followers

Recent Posts

photos on flickr (click to see more)

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930