Actually Gambia is a paradise. There is everything you need to live a carefree life. There is a wealth and variety of agricultural products. Sufficient agricultural land is available to feed not only Gambia, but also to export to surrounding countries. Gambia is a land of ecotourism and the specific species of fauna and flora offers everyone a special experience. wet savannah, forest savannah, bush savannah, mangrove forests, coastal forest and remnants of the evergreen gallery forest can be discovered. The big game was unfortunately eradicated. But many other species are thankfully still in the country. If you drive through the country you can discover small antelope species. You will also get to know some monkey species, chimpanzees survive in a nature reserve. Typical of Gambia is the variety of birds well over 500 species of birds, many of them migratory birds. You can still spot crocodile species in the river, even if they are rarer. A special experience are the hippos. Gambia is a fish-rich country in terms of salt and freshwater fish. With luck you can also admire dolphins at the mouth of the Gambia. There are many young people, women and men with many ideas about what you could do, which companies you would like to start up. There are successful startups, there are flowering companies, shops, hotels etc. Talking to local people, however, there is no one who would call the Gambia a paradise. The interior sight is a completely different one. You can always buy only what you need today. Rice is not bought in packs but in cups, like many other foods too. Only a few can afford a sack of rice. Many see no perspective for themselves and their family. Many wish to be better educated. Many are looking for work. Many are sitting around and have nothing to do. The call “give me …. give me” can not only be heard from children asking for minti and money. “Something for the boy” is not uncommon to hear when you’re white. Since July 2017 I have come to the Gambia regularly, more and more often I am there, I see enormous change for the better, but the population is hardly aware of it. Many new jobs have been created, and for the young people more and more education and training programs like Teki Fii are on the way of being implemented. The construction business is flourishing, craftsmanship has more to do. Now tourists are coming even in the rainy season, the supply of goods has grown, but this has not yet led to something like a spirit of optimism. That makes me sad, makes me desperate because the gambians don’t grasp the many chances because of their passive attitude. Unfortunately, too many complain and unfortunately we have too little courage. My symbol of encouragement is the Moringa tree.
Everything about this tree can be eaten. It contains a lot of nutrients, almost all you need. With his seed e.g. you can clean the water and make it drinkable. It grows fast, almost everywhere you can grow it. This tree grows in the Gambia, everyone knows this tree, so alone in this tree are so many opportunities, so it represents for me the symbol of courage: In Gambia you can find so so many opportunities, in the women and in the men of Gambia are so many talents and skills hidden. But you have to get started, roll up your sleeves, be ready to do your best. Gambia is a paradise, but not a land of plenty. It does not fall anything into your lap. Tesito!