Sunday, 2 December 2012

Tales from The Gambia (Part One)

Whilst the UK temperatures have plummeted, I headed out to The Gambia, West Africa last Friday for a week of my final year research. For those of you who have been reading this for a while will know my passion is development geography, so visiting one of the poorest countries in the world was fascinating, exciting and at times, eye opening. I have a lot of photos and memories to share so it looks like there may be several instalments of my time in Africa...

First up was a day in Banjul, the capital. Our first stop in the city was Arch 22, built in celebration of President Jammeh's takeover. I made friends with a few little ones, who were obsessed with my fold up water bottle! I was starting to get a bit Angelina Jolie and considering sneaking a few back in my suitcase..!

We had a wander around Banjul market, which sold everything you could imagine. 

The Fajara War Memorial was funded by The Commonwealth. It was a beautiful tribute to those who fought and died for The Commonwealth.

 Smoking house for the fish
 Traditional fishing boats - British colonisers gave the village fibreglass canoes to use, which were destroyed in Atlantic storms. The village has since reverted back to traditional boats.
Sunday I undertook research at two fishing villages; Katong and Tange. We were shown around by Solomon, an immigration officer, as boarder control along the coast is manned at every village.

 "step into my office!"

Solomon and Sunday's research team

For those who don't know much about Gambian politics, the country has been ruled by Jammeh since 1994 as part of 'The Second Republic'. Freedom of speech in The Gambia is banned, and the President has informants everywhere. Solomon, a government official, was very informative however upon later research we came to the conclusion that he'd falsified a lot of his information to better his country. Throughout the week I started to recognise this more and more, and it became extremely frustrating when trying to interview certain groups of people.

More of my trip to come later in the week!


Vix said...

It looks incredible, those little kids are adorable and your outfits look cool and lovely! x

EilidhPie said...

Wow, what an interesting trip! I'm looking forward to future instalments! That's annoying about Soloman though, especially as you need this research for uni xo

pastcaring said...

How interesting. The Gambia is not a country I know much about.
Such lovely kids! Glad you had a good trip, looking forward to hearing more. xxx

Ella said...

Lou these pictures are lovely! I loved finding out about your adventure. So sad to hear about their political background though x