In August 2003 I began my journey to West Africa. I travelled from Nova Scotia, Canada to The Gambia, and as soon as my plane touched down, I felt a change in my Self.
I spent nearly five months living and working in the country. I was a â€œDevelopment Workerâ€ with VSO Canada who had mixed feelings about my goals and presence.
I took on an IT teacher role, successfully educating thirty women about computers (women who had never used a keyboard or mouse previously), and I designed one of The Gambiaâ€™s main hospitalâ€™s web sites in order to help with funding.
My experience wasnâ€™t easy. Being a white woman brought immediate attention, and it was impossible to blend in. The transportation was different, the food was different, the religion, the language, the smells, the houses, the animals, the social structure- everything was opposite than what I was used to. And on the days that I didnâ€™t hate it, I loved it.
Though Iâ€™ll likely never do development work again (at least not in the IT field), I do not regret my decision to go to The Gambia. I have very strong views about Westerners in Developing Countries, and if you read through my diary, you will experience my highs and lows.
You can either start from the beginning of my journey or the end. The middle is whatâ€™s most interesting though.
3 Replies to “The Adventure”
Hallo from Greece!
I found your blog about Gambia throu wikipedia. I m into a reserching fase about this country. I would like to visit this place this December. I m impressed by your descriptions!
I am wishing you all the best
A really interesting site. I’m an IT VSO volunteer as well, I’m in Ghana though. I was interested in your comments about IT and development.
I am a gambian currently living in the U.S. I have a comment about yoour discussion on “racism” as you mentioned on your page. I dont think the gambian people were trying to talk to you because they dont like you or any form of hate towards you. rather that is the gambian way of welcoming you. i felt the opposite when i came to the U.S. and everyone try to avoid me and many think that been black meand stupid but it did not take me long to realize that the ignorant potatoes spoil the bag. after learning more about people in my surroundings i get to appreciate somethings better however there is a lot about the gambian cutlure i would not trade for the world. god bless