The Gambia! Wow! I have so much to say about this incredible experience!
Visiting The Gambia in October 2016 was filled with so many precious memories – having completed mission trips previously I intentionally decided to go on this one without any expectations and rather, just be open for all the experience had to offer.
First of all, the thing I was most pleasantly surprised about was how beautiful the people are and how beautiful the country is. I was admittedly a little taken aback about just how friendly, polite, welcoming and helpful everyone was; being a Londoner and somewhat well-travelled I was initially and constantly thinking, ‘what might this person want?’ But people were genuinely welcoming and honoured that I had chosen to visit their stunning country.
The New Life centres were a joy to be in! I was very mindful from the offset about imposing any of my views or traditions on people I met and instead was more interested in learning their culture and how I could work alongside to help them in the short amount of time I had. The children were AMAZING! Despite their experiences and backgrounds, they were full of joy and hope on inspirational levels. It was a pleasant reality check that possessions and circumstances don’t have to control your zest for life and happiness!
The teachers and co-ordinators were so accommodating and helpful and when considering the lack of resources they have in comparison to British schools, it was encouraging to see their passion for using education as a tool for change.
I loved every minute of serving these beautiful people and I hope to be back in the very near future!