Home Opinion Tomorrow is another day- Gambia Diary, Day 3

Tomorrow is another day- Gambia Diary, Day 3


We get back to Albreda and lunch is waiting. Delicious garlic prawns on a bed of Gambian rice. Gambian rice is delicious, perhaps a finer blend of Abakalikil  rice in Eastern Nigeria and Ofada rice in the West. It is divine. I finish mine almost immediately, Ndidi struggles with hers. She is an extremely slow eater while I am the exact opposite, and we eat together virtually all the time on this trip so you can imagine…in fact I still mull at the words of the restaurant owner two days ago. As usual, I had finished my lunch and dessert, while Ndidi was still lazily eating her lunch. “You are very good,” he said to me. “You must come back again.” Imagine…was he talking to his 10 year old daughter? I’m not going back!!!

We head back to the terminus, through the dusty roads from where we came. The roads are not the best but I have seen worse back home.  And then another plus may be they are totally devoid of militants and kidnappers, so, for this reason, I am willing to overlook the dust. The children on the dusty roads get excited as we drive by. Our tour guide throws out sweets to them – sweets we were persuaded to buy at Albreda for this purpose. The children scramble excitedly for the sweets. I’m not sure we have thrown out enough to go around. I think it’s all very cute, but the freedom fighter in me says it doesn’t make sense that children and other deprived people abide in a land of plenty and live in abject poverty. But then I am not government, neither do I have the cash required to bring them out of poverty, so I hold my peace.

Again, we get to the terminus and have just missed the ferry. We are offered seats in the restaurant, where we wait for the next one. Ndidi orders a sprite and I order nothing – too many flies around and there’s a smell round I don’t quite like. I know…I got maggots. Interestingly, on the table to our left, two teenagers wolf down a plate of rice, while this cute little boy looks on… “See the way dat boy dey look demn” an emotive Ndidi says. I smile and say nothing. I’m tired and all I can think about is the comfort of my hotel room. Mama uwao Ndidi, asks the waiter to find out if the boy wants to eat. He says he has no money, she moves to the rescue immediately. In no time, the waiter brings the little lad a plate of benechinp

Finally, our ferry arrives and we get in. The luggage is pretty much the same… only difference is there is a camel on board. We safely cross over to the other side thank God and all are happy, except the camel. I heard grunts, grunts I have never heard from any animal in my entire life. Anyway, we jump into our taxi and head back to the hotel. I barely have enough energy to have a shower and hit the sack. Ndidi has the same full body massage I had the day before. I barely hear the girl come in.

Somehow, I manage to drag myself down to dinner. This time, we opt for the buffet. I have a nice tomato soup for starters and as my main dish I have a combo of char grilled chicken in lemon sauce, and beef domoda. It’s a local peanut based sauce cooked with either beef or chicken. My friend Ndidi had the chicken version two days ago…if you had read this diary then you will recall that she was asleep and I dared not wake her to ask the name of this dish. I write this from the open restaurant at our hotel while she’s half asleep on a deck chair under the shade from two coconut trees just outside by the window from where I type away…this time I woke her up and she gave me the name…tee hee hee!!!

I think Ndidi had pretty much the same as I had for dinner, and we both had dessert. Again I will not write this down…but I can authoritatively say that Gambian desserts are divine.

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