I have been in Africa for over a week now and this is my first blog post. That tells you two things – One, I have been busy! And two, wifi isn’t always readily available. (Though I would like to give a shout-out to my dad to let him know that when it does work, the internet here is actually better than our internet at home…) Anyway, please bear with me while I play catch-up for the next couple posts.
To start off, I will explain a bit about The Gambia and how I ended up here. The Gambia is a small country in Western Africa that is bordered by Senegal on all sides except for the coastline. I am currently staying in the town of Fajara, which is close to Bakau. Originally Gambia was a British colony and some signs of that former colonial power still remain. The one that I notice most often is the way they call fries chips.
Anyway, the population is about 1.7 million people (according to good old wikipedia) and the current president is Yahya Jammeh. I’ll probably write a lot about him at some point, but for now I will just say that his presidency is controversial to many outsiders, though most of the Gambians seem to love him.
I am here as part of a group of about twenty Juniata College students for the next three (two now, I guess) weeks. We have been struggling with questions like how to define poverty, interacting with a bunch of interesting people, and doing a ton of dancing. After the group leaves, I will be staying for three additional weeks and doing an internship with the Gambia Press Union, which I will write more about in a later post.
Now I am going to go back in time for the next couple of posts to talk about my experiences so far!