Chicken or an Egg?

January 9, 2009 :

9:27 Gambia Time..

CVM residence in Senegambia

I made it! … and almost as importantly so did my luggage. The only lost was my pack cover which never showed up in Madrid.

The trip to the Gambia has lost its special enchantment and seemed much more of a routine journey. That said there was fair share excitement, adventure and frustration. Madrid was more of a challenge than I would have anticipated. I had little time to research accommodations and staying in the airport alone for 16 hours seemed unappealing after already being on 3 planes.

I soon discovered how little Spanish I knew (even less than I thought) and I had never been so happy for my French later bailed me out of a few situations. Eventually I found a room for a reasonable rate and fell asleep later to wake up to explore the city for dinner.

I was blessed to have no trouble at the Gambian airport, due to my length of stay and the amount of electronics I was carrying with me I had anticipated trouble. Martin (CVM staff), Jo and Musa (Jo and Musa are friends I have been help Musa with his schooling over the last two years) were there to welcome me and give me a ride from the airport to a mission home in Senegambia (touristy part of town) where I will get my bearings straightened out.

There are new surprises and many things to relearn. New prices on everything and my language skills are as bad as I remembered them. While trying to get breakfast this morning I discovered there is an egg shortage due to some conflicts with street egg sandwich vendors and the government. (kind of like North American squeegee kids vs the government) After visiting 9 shacks (corner stores) I finally was able to buy 3 eggs but when I returned to make my sandwich I found one had already decided to become a chicken. So much for my appetite.

Fortunately, Martin and the two boys Musa and Tijan are here to help me navigate this all and help with teaching some Mandinka which will be a good project for the time I am here. Anyways, Martin is ready to go and the day is flying by and there is much to do and people to catch up with. More to come soon...

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