Monday, December 7, 2009

Tournee Day 5: Kolda and The Gambia

Homeward bound was supposed to be the theme of the day, but before we got started we payed a breakfast visit to two girls in my stage to see how they were doing and meet their counterparts. These two girls are just like me and Emily, SED and urban agriculture, site mates so it was interesting to see how they were working together or at least how they were hanging out together. We met at a pre-school where we saw the kids, looked at an early garden attempt, and had some delicious village bread with honey and butter. Delicious.

Then we were off the northbound road to The Gambia. While the scenery was beautiful and we passed many idyllic villages, one of which we stopped at because Talla had some friends there, I have to admit that I napped most of the way and really only regained consciousness once we started to slow down for all the boarder checks.

I was excited to cross into The Gambia so I can claim another African country! Hey, I ate and peed in the country... so I'm counting it! For my faithful U of M readers I would like you to image the wave field on North Campus. Take away the grass, so it's just massive dirt bumps and then you are close to accurately imagining the roads in The Gambia. It was a rough ride even in the nice Peace Corps car.

The highlight of the trip was while we were waiting for the ferry. I had heard rumors that The Gambia has the most delicious chicken sandwiches. This is true. The ferry port is literally a group of shacks next to the river selling various things. If I can invoke everyone's imaginations once more... Please imagine the African heat and glass cases, much like aquariums. Roasted chickens, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and condiments are in these cases. When you order a sandwich a women slices open some bread, tears of a chicken breast, thigh, and leg and proceeds to squish the meet off the bones and into your sandwich. She then takes a handful of lettuce and tomatoes, a handful of lettuce which she slaps in the bread, then she dips her hand into a dish of mustard which she slathers on your sandwich. Finally she wraps it in a dirty newspaper and hands it to you. Absolutely delicious lunch and until I started writing this post it really didn't occur to me that that wasn't what I would usually call a normal sandwich preparation method.

The ferry arrived shortly after we all devoured our sandwiches and Talla and I walked on board while Adama drove the car aboard. The ferry was pretty cool. The river and the surrounding foliage was very beautiful and it was relaxing and nice to get out of the car. That is until we disembarked from the boat and I was reminded I was in a boarder town by vendors trying to sell me fabric and cigarettes.

The rest of the day passed in the car. We talked, passed through Koalack again, and finally made it into Dakar and the end of the tournee. I feel really lucky that I got to follow Talla around, observe the formations, and see such a large part of the country. It was really cool.

Pictures from the trip are now posted. Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Alyssa,

    When you take the pictures, do they mind or are you taking the shots without their knowledge?