Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Gambia: Photos from Up Country

 I traveled eight hours by jeep up the Gambian River to the town on Basse for a work trip. There I met with local villages from both Mandinka and Fula communities. Here are some photos from that trip.

Children from the village

Farms outside the village

View from the back on the home (this family very kindly let me use their bathroom)

Entrance to the home

A typical village

Corn drying in the sun

Girls from a Fula village dressed up to perform

Donkeys everywhere

A masquerade performance at a Mandika village

The boat to cross the river

Where the slaves were held in Georgetown before they were taken across the Atlantic

Corn drying in the village. It will be ground into power and cooked into a porridge

Cellphones were ubiquitous - the villagers are seen here recording a ceremonial performance

I loved this little girl's dress but I don't think she was happy to be photographed

Cows were everywhere along the road

Views from the lodge

Views from the ldoge

Our boat

An overcast day

Mangroves in the Gambian River

The Gambian river

The Gambian river

The lodge along the Gambian river

Dusk over the lodge

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Touchdown Tokyo

Every time I fly to Japan, I have this routine of changing clothes in one of the large, accessible stalls in the arrivals lobby. I would do this every time at Narita Airport; I even had a favorite stall, but this was my first time flying into Haneda internationally. Thankfully, they had the same large stalls, which are perfect for opening up the suitcase and changing clothes, complete with plenty of space and a large mirror.

I am pretty happy about this outfit, which includes one of my favorite tops from Pakistan and my signature Tiffany key necklace, both items that I have owned for a long time and really love.

Top: Beech Tree, a designer in Pakistan Pants: Uniqlo from Japan Loafers: Madewell Necklace: Tiffany

Sunday, May 5, 2024

What Did I Eat in The Gambia?

I did almost no research on the food before I traveled to The Gambia. I was there for a work trip, so I knew I would not have time to go to any restaurants or cafes on my own. Also, I did not even see any cafes or coffee shops there. Mostly, people drink tea, a thick sweetened green tea called Attaya. So I let my client dictate when and where I ate. A few interesting things to note:

People don't usually have lunch until 3:00 pm. I found this to be very late - I was getting hungry around 12:00 pm and had to wait. Dinner is also late, around 9:00 pm, which was again too late for me.

My internet research was correct in identifying no coffee shops; indeed, I did not find any when I arrived. Instead, I brought my own coffee and coffee maker from the US. I am glad I did, or else I would not have had any coffee.

Attaya, packs of Green tea (that look like cigarettes) boiled for hours in sugar

Foreign food, mostly not good. Except for that Lebanese Shwarma in the top corner

Fruit, I did not come during mango season, but watermelon was abundant

Gambian banquet food, the best meal I had there

Gambia has the best juices: Kaaba, Ditakh, and Baobab

Fried meat cakes, rice, and more meat

AbCa's Lodge buffet dinner was excellent - the best chips I ever had

Gambian village food, served communal style, the curry is Domoda, a peanut stew

Wanjo juice, from the hibiscus, my favorite

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