Monday. Only one week left now. The boys are looking forward to go home and so am I, but at the same time I know how much I will miss it. I am a little emotional since I have started the process of saying goodbye.
I asked Dan and the boys to name me 10 things they most appreciated and enjoyed here and most likely will miss about Gambia and our life here, and this is what they replied:
Obama, the happiness of the people here, the feeling of being welcome everywhere we go, the kids from next door, being part of the village community, the warm weather, being at the beach and swimming in the sea, Tommy, the nature around us, being at Sandele.
He said this is just a small part of the things he will miss. He also said that Dolphin’s (the place with the pool where he wants to go very often) is not one of them – “how could I miss this, it’s a tubab place where locals can only go to if they have enough money to eat, which means the majority can’t!”. How much he has grown…
The sea, playing with Obama, playing with Tommy, boat trips on the River Gambia, being at Nemasu lodge, fresh mangos, the heavy thunderstorms, meeting Daffeh in his white car and singing ‘lunanalo’ and him singing back ‘siesela kokoliko’ (a song by ST The Gambian Dream, the boy’s musical discovery) and tapalapa (the traditional bread loaf).
Dan: I will miss the feeling that what I do can make a difference, George, riding home on the bike at night, my daily dance with the kids next door and their giggles, being part of the community and bumping into people when cycling through the village, working outside in nature at Sandele, having my kids involved in my work, having time to think/ to test/ to experiment, speaking English, seeing my kids grounded and rounded.
And I will miss seeing the many happy faces that smile at me every day, spending time at the beach with the kids and see their joy of splashing in the waves, being part of a very welcoming community, cycling along sandy lanes through the jungle-like bush in the afternoon sun, visiting Tommy (and Dan) at Sandele and bumping into wild monkeys there, the ‘unregulatedness’ and simplicity of life, being woken up by the morning prayer in combination with the loudly singing birds all around us, the daily dose of sunshine, eating fresh fruit off the trees, Lamin.