This time last week, I was walking along Kairaba Avenue towards Westfield with Binta. I had a huge smile plastered on my face and kept staring at the sights and appreciating the sounds. It has been 8 months since I left The Gambia (Jollof) to go face my second year of studies in Morocco. You might think that was a short period but for me, it felt like eternity! I had missed my family, friends, acquaintances and home so much I did not even wait to get my results. After writing my last paper for the year on Wednesday, I rushed into town to grab a few gifts and set to packing. Friday came and I hugged my room-mate goodbye, dragged out my suitcases and was off to l’Aeroport Mohammed V, Casablanca with my friend. Gambia was calling and I willingly answered!
I don’t say this often and very few people know this about me. Linguere is scared of flying! Each time I get a ticket, the first thing I look for is the flight duration. Flights from Morocco to The Gambia usually get through Guinea Conakry or Liberia and thus, last about 5 hours. I kept dreading the moments and the most horrendous of thoughts kept racing through my mind. A few days before my mom sent my ticket, there had been crashes in Ghana and Nigeria, the latter being more fatal. I spent a whole night reading through a blog that had got together photos of the victims and shared their stories. It was tough seeing all those beautiful faces, promising young people and happy families and knowing they’d had to face their last moments on Earth in fear and shock. I was relieved to know that my flight was going direct to Banjul and would last only three hours, 15 minutes. Nevertheless, I kept thinking about those 195 minutes in the air, at that high altitude, surrounded by clouds and depending only on the Almighty to get me home safe. I had a good flight after making it clear to my seat-mate that I was not interested in his ‘cheesy’ conversation. No, I’m not even mean and did not shut him down with words. After my first response to his question, I smiled, grabbed a book I was not even interested in and buried my face in it. I wanted some time to myself… time I would use to engage in reciting dua for a safe flight. My prayers got answered and at about 11:50 p.m, we touched down at the Banjul International Airport.
It’s been a week now and I’ve not even had time to rest well. I’ve been busy getting things sorted out for our trip to Ghana for Milead 2012 . It’s one of the reasons I’ve put off this post for this long. Like I did last summer, you’ll be getting regular (I hope) updates on here about my activities and other stuff that come to mind. I would take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s donated to our cause. I get touched when I see non-working students chip in their money, just so our trip to Ghana becomes possible. Every contribution counts and the whole team is grateful to know we can call on people and have positive responses. Offline, the results have not been favorable and we’ve had to deal with disappointment several times. However, we’re still keeping up the faith and doing all we can to raise the amount before our deadline. If you still wish to contribute, we’ve decided to move the initial deadline and so, you can visit the site linked above and donate. If in The Gambia, you could contact any of the folowing numbers and we’ll meet up with you : 3813425, 3525666,3850321. We’re doing this to address the plight of women in The Gambia and the world, by extension and we hope everyone would throw in support for we cannot do it alone.
It’s been a lazy day for me today and I hope that changes in the next couple of hours. I’m getting set for my first Lend A Hand meeting this year and can’t wait to bond with the dynamic young men and women there. It’s always an amazing feeling being with them, working together to bring a positive change in our societies. It’s one of the things I’ve missed and I’m absolutely glad to be back with them. I hope you all have a great weekend. The Jollof Chronicles continue…