Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day 19

Day 19 1/21
This morning our plans were pushed back because Jerry was not feeling well again. They took him to see if he had Malaria and they reported that the tests were negative for malaria, so that was a plus. With this visit to the doctors our plans were set aside and we had to reschedule our school visit for tomorrow. Instead of going to the school we went to The Observer, which is a local newspaper ( While on the visit of the office we were allowed to ask questions to the writers and editors. Someone posed the question of what they can and cannot write. The response was given that they must show respect to the government and others. This means that they have a limited free writing and they are not allowed to say whatever they want. Also we noticed that the President is featured on every front page, always in a good way. As we were about the leave the chief editor tried to get us going about the freedom of the press and how their paper was much more democratic. We politely declined responding to his statements. We were all dressed up hoping to go to Parliament and see inside the building. We never made it through the doors because they were in session and could not entertain any guests at the moment. So our next best option was eating. Off to Ali Bubba’s. We sat down inside the restaurant where we were still bothered by people on the streets. They would either hold up items at the entrance to the restaurant and some were even gutsy enough to come into the diner. One person that did come into the restaurant continued to follow us even after we left Ali Bubba’s. We were given time to look around the Banjul market. As we finished perusing the market we went to our set meeting place where I was greeted by Joe. Joe is the person who led us around the Banjul market the first time we went. He was very interested in talking with me and possibly meeting up tomorrow. We made plans that he would come to the house at 5 PM, because I didn’t feel comfortable going to his compound. I learned that I lived in Old Jeshwang from our guide that gave directions to Joe so that he can come tomorrow. Joe is not like all of the other people here or at least it doesn’t seem so. After telling Joe I would call him later tonight we were headed back to the house where we were given a little time to get ready to go to the beach. At the beach the waves were stronger than they had ever been. They were at a point where I didn’t feel safe in the water. I swam out past the breaking point hoping that I would be able to stand, but I couldn’t. I simply got pounded by a few waves and turned in for the shore. Just as I was getting back to where I could stand comfortably a man who works at Leybato bar and restaurant recommended that we either stay out of the water or not go out as far. We listened to this after experiencing the waves. Because of the full moon the waves and high tide were at extremes. We had to leave the beach right before sunset. Some of us got some decent pictures of the almost sunset, tomorrow we are to go back for the sunset. When we were at the beach I felt the revenge of Senegambia hotel food. Hopefully this passes quickly and that I can travel home comfortably. Tonight we are to go out for the last time in The Gambia, no one really has the intentions of drinking tonight because everyone is scraping their pockets for every last dalasi. I have 100 dalasi left in my pocket which is $5. I have other money but I do not want to spend it unless I have to. We are all excited to go home and disappointed at the same time. It is a beautiful area but it also has its downfalls such as the hustling of the vendors.

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