The Gambia

 

img-20160304-wa0001Taking the Sept Place ( the Devil’s invention) was eventful in its own right. Word of advice, buy an extra seat you can have more wiggle room.

Getting the visa to enter Gambia involved going to the Gambian Embassy in Dakar to pay about 60-70 usd in application fees,a one day wait, and the number and location of where exactly you would be.

While there I met up with a young Gambian who invited me to take the journey with him the following weekend, which was exactly when I planned on going.

The roads were horrible, I think I still have back pain from the amount of potholes and bare road that we traveled. I woke up and went to sleep hot, sweaty , and miserable. Traveling inside the Gambia was a bit awkward because cars were constantly being pulled over and ID’ed by military police with frightening rifles.

The main junction, or Sene-Gambia was full of restaurants, hotels, and old white ladies with their young boyfriends. I saw more sugar mommas than I did monkeys ( I saw about 5 monkeys and they were super cute and SUPER anti-social.

I was told that many women from Europe come to The Gambia to engage in paid sex with young gigolos. Due to  low employment and business opportunities, many young Gambians have ventured into sex work or even more deadly, ” Back Way”.

img-20160307-wa0007Back way, is a term used by Gambians to discuss the dangerous and risky way many Gambians are traveling to Europe in order to find financial security. Sadly, many drown in the Mediterranean Sea, get lost in the Sahara, or arrested and beaten in Libya. Recently, a young Gambian refugee in Italy committed suicide in front of dozens of  onlookers. It was reported that when he jumped into the water, some of them even cheered him on.

When we refugees and immigration, we often leave Africans out of the conversation. It’s problematic because Somalians, Gambians, Senegalese, and many others are washing up on foreign soils lifeless.  Families back home are awaiting phone calls & contributions that they will never recieve. Wives, Mothers, Fathers, Uncles, Daughters, Sons, Brothers, Sisters, and Friends are losing loved ones chasing the dream.

I’m not here to judge. I know that poverty causes one to do things previo
usly thou
ght impossible. Lack of opportunities can cool off any flame of hope. Imagine living in a city where there is absolutely no job openings, no start-up money to start something on your own, and your family is struggling.

Life is hard

but Gambians are stronger.

Recently, their  President Yaya Jammeh of 22 years was defeated in an election. After a bit of crisis, Adama Barrow was finally acknowledged as President and Jammeh was exiled. He is currently in Equatorial Guinea.

Let’s pray that the future of the Gambia has just been refreshed and only peace and prosperity will touch their borders.

 

 

Jamm Rekk

 

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