top of page

Travel report about Gambia by Sophie (student)

When I arrived in Gambia I had a bit of a culture shock. I was aware of what everything would look like there, but when you see it in front of you, it's completely different.

Travel report about Gambia by Sophie (student)

Sophie (student)

It was my first time in a country of this kind. I can therefore consider myself very lucky that I was able to make this extraordinary trip with such an experienced organization as Hand in Hand. When I arrived in The Gambia, I had a bit of a culture shock. I was aware of what everything would look like there, but when you have it right in front of you, it's all completely different again. The contrast between the empty, wide streets with bushes, dried out plants and a few cows and the overcrowded small towns with far too many cars and people behaving like they were tired of life in “traffic” was huge. I spent the whole time staring out of the window like a child and couldn't believe it all. The sheer darkness in which people were still working and living and for whom it was all completely normal.

After a day of arriving, things got going straight away. Almost every day was filled with the association's projects. We visited and inspected the agricultural projects in Kitty. Important decisions about wells and the irrigation system for Kitty 2 were made with the whole association and the new land was surveyed. In Kitty 1, the plants are thriving and we have started to grow a small shade bed with cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins and other vegetables, which the families can then sell. Of course, we also had to sort the numerous donations for the respective projects beforehand and then distribute them. As a result, the women in Kitty received a whole suitcase of new shoes for gardening, new gardening tools and plenty of seeds for the next season.

The differences in terms of punctuality, order and bureaucracy in general were also very exciting. As a German, you beat your hands over your head almost every day. But we also have to learn to accept these other cultures and adapt a little in order to work well together. It was particularly noticeable that not everything always went as smoothly as you might have wished, but that is also part of it and such obstacles are mastered by the association and its members with aplomb.

My personal highlight was the school projects that Hand in Hand supervises and supports. It is remarkable to see how they try to provide a good education under these circumstances. We also brought many donations to the schools and the children were overjoyed.

The Gambia has an incredible amount to offer as a country. We were able to feed monkeys, touch crocodiles, see hippos on a breathtaking boat trip and enjoy the beautiful beaches.

All in all, it was a wonderful but also exhausting time. It's not easy to process these new impressions so quickly, but I recommend everyone to have their eyes opened by a trip like this.

bottom of page