13° N x 16° W – Where am I?

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So, where exactly am I? I’m going to post some map pictures and give a little bit of information about The Gambia. For me, when I got the invite email from Peace Corps it said something like “Congratulations, you’ve been accepted to PC and will be serving in The Gambia” to which I responded “Awesome!!!!! Wait, what’s The Gambia?” Ctrl+T, google search, saw big river and a pinch of atlantic coast, got excited about potential surfing, intrigue, started to love my future home right then. It seems most people and other PCV’s have similar reactions to this small country, we definitely all laugh about it. I got here October 18th, 2013… So, “where!?” Here:

600px-Gambiarivermap

In the map below you can see my permanent site – Farafenni. Half way up country on the North Bank.

gambia-map

And here’s a bit of information about Gambia:

It is the smallest country on mainland Africa. The Gambia shares historical roots with many other West African nations in the slave trade, which was the key factor in the placing and keeping of a colony on the Gambia River, first by the Portuguese and later by the British. On 18 February 1965, the Gambia gained independence from the United Kingdom and joined the Commonwealth of Nations, from which it withdrew in October 2013. Since gaining independence, the Gambia has enjoyed relative political stability, with the exception of a brief period of military rule in 1994. Due to the fertile land of the country, the economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and tourism. About a third of the population lives below the international poverty line of  US$1.25 a day

2013 Population: 1,882,450 

Ethnic Groups (2003)

  • 42% Mandinka 
  • 18% Fula
  • 16% Wolof / Serer 
  • 10% Jolla 
  • 9% Serahulli
  • 4% other Africans
  • 1% non-African

Currency: Dalasi ( 39 Dalasi = $1 now)

Religion:  Islam (90%), Christianity (8%), Indigenous Beliefs (2%)

Temperature today: 98 F

So, those are some basics. Feel free to ask me questions. The picture at the top is from our Peace Corps office in Banjul – it’s one of the first places I went after arrival and it definitely Peace Corps: tough offroad trucks packed with gear. I’ve never wanted a Landcruiser more :). Thanks for reading….

2 thoughts on “13° N x 16° W – Where am I?

    • Cathy – thank you for the nice comments. I know I always say it but you guys were a big part of my chance to get out here and see what is here, in the literal sense of seeing and the broader sense of learning to see nature, people, deeper etc. Thanks for the following – i’ll try to keep it updated. I actually just wore those scrubs the other day.

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