Departure Day 1st attempt


It really felt like a struggle to leave Gambia – and we didn’t succeed on departure day! Gambia didn’t want us to leave and made it quite hard. We were not able to leave the country – we made it as far as Sanyang which is about 25 km south of Fajara towards the Senegalese border.
But there were still so many small things to do and pack and we also had to say good-bye to “our” beach and took a short walk down. Anna, the girl who worked with us, also came over for a last good-bye with some little fare-well presents. We had said good-bye to Lamin, who also worked with us, the day before. He also got us a present – 2.5kg of margarine so that we are well prepared in terms of food and cooking on the way! It was weird to say good-bye to them and it is during those moments that you really realise that you are leaving which also means leaving some people behind, people that you spent a lot of time with and you got used to having around you every day. During the preparations for the trip we had only thought about the adventures we are going to experience, the new things we are going to see and the places we are going to be in. The last days before the departure when I started to say good-bye to some people (including the school in Brikama) I felt the other side of leaving and of course thought about the years I have spent in Gambia, a very significant time of my life. I had wonderful times in Gambia and met some very good and impressive people and am grateful for that. I can leave in good spirit and with good memories of Gambia.

But ja, the departure day was not really a complete departure. After we had finally packed everything in the car and handed over the keys, drove out of our compound and down our road for the last time we had some stops at the tailor, bookshop and money exchange. We actually hit the road and left the busy tourist area around 3 in the afternoon – and had to stop at a friend’s place in Sanyang to drop a few things with her. So we spend the night there, in the car – the first full night in the car so a test night just before it got serious. We had more Gambian food and beer (and we so wanted to have a Gazelle, the Senegalese beer that day!) on the beach which was good.