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Echo’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 18 Aug 2007

Location: Gambia

MapHad my first taste of Banjul today and I have to say I am very happy that I live in beach town suburbia. Not that Banjul is nasty and dangerous but it is a market or port city. It isn't that big but the streets are very dirty and there are tons of people and cars.

We went with the computer teacher from the school, who happens to be local. Unfortunately, the trip was not so much an exploration or a tour it was more to fullfill our quest, which was to buy fabric. And buy fabric we did but we did not see much more than fabric stores...don't worry Laurie I will make it to the craft markets soon I promise.

After being in my classroom for the last couple of days, I decided that I am making some great changes to my class. After all it is my first classroom and hey I am teaching in Africa so I am going to decorate it like I am in Africa. Previous teachers I guess decided to keep the decorations similiar to that of the ones you would find in Canada or the states. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that but when I saw the calendar that was left for me to put up and the month of December is written on a background of snowman, christmas trees and ice skaters, I really had to question why the hell I would put this up???? There is no snow here, although at times I kind of wish it would snow....but really, why would I put that up.

So I decided to buy some typical fabric to cover my bulletin boards in my classroom. I did take some before pictures (to be posted when my computer gets set up) and after I have africanized my room I will take some more pictures so you can all see what I have done.

Tomorrow Dianne and I were talking about possibly going down to the craft market that is just down from our house we are in right now and doing some handicraft shopping. Right now all I want to get are some baskets for the garbage and pens and pencils. Unfortunately, Ghana is better known for their baskets and a lot of other cool handicrafts so I am going to save most of my crazy buying for when I go to Ghana in October, that is if I get to go. Apparently there is the West African teacher conference there and if the budget of the school allows, I will get to go. I really want to go for the conference as well but the shopping is what I am really excited for.

Overall though, I think I could manage in Banjul on my own. It is almost like South America only the people are all taller, darker and most of them can all speak English. Everyone is super friendly and most people smile at you as you pass and of course everyone wants to sell you everything. In the fabric store we had about 6 guys all trying to help us, I thought that this was entertaining and it really doesn't bother me so I think I will enjoy it here, as long as I am around the right people...but I will save that story for another time.