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Elke Dartsch on her first trip to Gambia

Yes, I enjoyed the Gambian sun. I lay under palm trees and drank cool water. Today I see the sun with different eyes and drink water knowing how precious it is.

 Elke Dartsch on her first trip to Gambia

Elke Dartsch

Gedanken nach Gambia

 I needed a little time to sort out my thoughts and feelings after my visit to The Gambia. Not that you think I've managed to do that. But I would like to share my thoughts with you.

I flew to The Gambia with very few expectations. I was looking forward to seeing Kerstin and hoped that the other members of the association would accept me as a guest for this time. I wanted to see your projects, take photos of the orange trees and enjoy a bit of sunshine.

My first expectations were already dashed at the airport in Berlin. I didn't feel like a GUEST for a second. When I arrived in The Gambia, I already had two friends by my side and many more joined me over the next few days.

I had the feeling of belonging right from the start - a WE feeling - a wonderful feeling.

The projects - your projects - I wanted to see them with my own eyes

But it's not that easy. I got involved with you and Africa. From now on, SEEING was no longer enough. Africa hit me with full force. Seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling the sand between my teeth. For a short time I thought I was going to lose the ground under my feet. When I saw in Kitti what you had achieved there in just one year, I was overwhelmed. It wasn't until much later that I understood that it wasn't enough just to put up a fence and build a well. I understood how important it is to take the inhabitants with you on this journey and to let them take you with them too. Culture, tradition, faith, life experience, attitudes - all these things make us different. But what unites us is that we all have the right to live with dignity on this planet.

Kitti is a project of dignity. A project of humanity. Yes, I admit, there was a moment when I thought “What are you doing? What are you doing ? This fountain, this garden, this is ONE drop in a hot bucket - on a damn hot bucket!” And you know I'm right. But please let me tell you: it's a DROP! And the soccer team is also a drop and Rumba and Sanyang, did you know that the sea is also made up of lots of little drops?

The feeling that I am part of a droplet has quietly set in.

Yes, I enjoyed the Gambian sun. I have lain under palm trees and drank cool water. I see the sun with different eyes today and drink water knowing how precious it is.

I traveled to The Gambia with 3 suitcases - I came home with a thousand questions.

GOOGLE can answer some of them. I was able to talk to Valentin from the drum group about other things. We've been talking about Germany together for two years, and now we're finally talking about Africa.

Nevertheless, there will still be questions that I can only find answers to in The Gambia.

My daycare children are waiting impatiently for my travel report. No, I haven't yet told them about the children who have no toys.

I will tell them about the children who smile as they carry buckets of water and draw suns in the sand.

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