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Pippa's Gambian trip, 15-29 November 2005

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Saturday 19 November - Shopping in Banjul - Albert Market

We went on our by now accustomed Saturday morning trip into Banjul with the children from Kemo's compound. Fatou, Ebrima, EB, Ian Talibo, Muhamed Lamin, and Kebba (a friend from Jarreng who was staying for a family celebration). Kemo, Sandra and Pippa all set off to walk into Albert Market for shopping! (Kemo's wife Sonna, the new baby Malafie, Isatou and Bintou stayed behind this time to help Kemo's mum)
The rules are that each person is given the Dalasis equivalent of 5 to spend it can be quite a morning! Before the shopping trip, Kebba had to have his photo taken with his 'welcome to Pageant' pencil case, as he has just been sponsored, and Fatou looked so charming in her new dress that she had to be photographed as well. Then we set off but before shopping, we had to visit the playground. This is the only one in The Gambia and is very popular with up-country Gambian children who are visiting Banjul.
 

Kebba with his pencil case

Fatou in her new dress

Kebba with his pencil case

Fatou in her new dress

the playground 1

the playground 2

the playground

Now for Albert Market a real maze of small stalls selling almost everything you can think of. Sandra and Pippa left the children & Kemo to do their shopping unencumbered by white tourists and went to the craft market. Here, Sandra proved she could easily handle the bargaining essential to any market transaction and proceeded to do most of her Christmas shopping. Pippa bought some more things for Pageant sales. We rather cheated on the 5 limit...

Some considerable time later, we all met up again and walked back to our favourite lunch place, Michel's. Muhamed Lamin was asleep by this time, but a large quantity of chicken and chips was consumed by nearly everyone else and an almost equally large amount wrapped up to take home as 'doggy bags'. As well as lunch, we enjoyed seeing what everyone had bought in the market. Kemo then took the children home and we went back to the hotel and Pippa had a couple of hours by the pool for the first time this trip!
 

Sandra bargaining at Albert Market

after a hard day's shopping!

Sandra bargaining

after a hard day's shopping!

some of the items bought 1

some of the items bought 2

some of the items bought 3

some of the items bought

shopping is too much for some people!

some of the items bought 4

shopping is too much for some people!

more bargains

Saturday evening was memorable for several things: one was the complete lack of lights on the taxi that took us to the Senegambia area for supper and The Gambia is really VERY dark on the country roads.... so we decided we would NOT take that taxi home! Having recovered from our rather frightening drive, we had a very enjoyable evening at the Taste of India (on Saturday evening they do a fantastic buffet) with Wandifa, Kemo, Linda (who had arrived the previous day) and another UK couple who had agreed to meet up with us there. We had arranged this before our trip so that they could get some help in distributing the large amount of school materials that they had brought out with them. Wandifa made plans to take them to a couple of schools that would really appreciate the gifts and we understand that the visits went well.
After an excellent evening we took another taxi home and arrived back at the Atlantic without any further scares!

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