More from Gambia, Part 5 of 6

By Nazim Ansari

Peace and Blessings friends and family,

4/15/09Banjul, The Gambia

Today was a day of fun, fun, fun.  We had lessons in drumming, dancing, Wolof language, and we visited the fishing market, and shopping market.  Our tour guide, Molong, took us to an area to learn the drumming, dancing and Wolof from some of the locals in The Gambia.  It was a blast!!! 

The drumming was exciting, and the dancing was downright hilarious, my mother got out and danced!!  Next, we stopped at a tie-dye shop to learn how the tie-dye and local prints are created.  The artist use all natural colors from flowers and plants to make the printed shirts, dresses, tablecloths, etc.

From there we toured the local fishing market and saw all the different types of fish the locals catch. There were shark fish, ugly fish, and all kinds of fish.  They use long fish boats and catch all the fish with a line, they are really skilled at their craft.  From there we went to the local marketplace to shop, it was a little exhausting, but extremely fun!

Our tour guide told us from the beginning, whatever price they quote you, take 1/3rd of it and bargain at that price…he was absolutely correct.  There were hundreds of small shop owners lined up in rows after rows all aggressively persuading you to come into their shop.   The local Gambian shop owners are not rude, but they are very aggressive because a large portion of their economy comes from tourism, so if they don’t sell, they have money.

I enjoyed the negotiations and bargaining and meeting so many people, there was so much to buy I just couldn’t get everything I wanted, from handmade jewelry, wooden sculptures, drums, and paintings to shirts, leathers bags, purses, and sandals.

The bargaining was fun, but make no mistake about it, the people in the country don’t have much income opportunities outside of small tourist shops, so I saw a lot of poverty traveling through Banjul, but from what I’ve learned The President has made a lot of progress over the last 10 years developing The Gambia, so its a growing country.

Our day ended with dinner at a restaurant right on the beach, it was a perfect day and the food was great, I have seen some of the most beautiful beaches and sunsets while in Africa.  Tomorrow we head out to visit the village of Kunta Kenteh, so please stay tuned for this.

Attached are pictures of;

1. Nazim dancing, they didn’t know I knew how to do the African tootsie roll.

2. Fishing market where all the local fishers dock to catch their fish, see the boats in the water.

3. Marketplace where shopping occurs.

4. Some have no choice but to sell their products on the side of the road.

5.  Sunset in Africa…beautiful.

Peace and Blessings,


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *