Stepping out of the surgery with both arms feeling the effects of the freshly administered jabs (Typhoid, Rabies, Meningitis & Hep B), I’m ready for my return to West Africa!
This time around, I’m heading off to Dakar (Senegal) to catch up with my friend Adolphus Mawalo from West Africa Democracy Radio before heading south to the Casamance region to spend a few days with Kath & Adam at the Kora Workshop in Kafountine, then on to stay with Simon & Khady at The Little Baobab in Abene.
In the meantime, trouble is brewing in The Gambia following the recent elections (December 2016) when Yahya Jammeh was voted out of office as president (which he accepted with seemingy good grace!). With the hand over to the president elect Adama Barrow due on 19 January 2017, it seems that Yahya has had a change of heart and is threatening to hold onto power. Just to make matters worse, the army chief Ousman Badjie has also had a change of heart and is supporting the president’s attempt to stay in office. What this means for the future of The Gambia in the short term is uncertain, especially with rumours of mercenaries being hired in from Liberia…
Subject to the political vagaries of The Gambia, all being well I will be continuing on to Sierra Leone to complete my aborted 2014 journey (I wasn’t able to get a visa due to the unwieldy Sierra Leone bureaucracy in their embassy in Conakry). This time around I’m applying for my visa in advance via the London embassy, rather than risking waiting until I reach the border.
With just over 4 weeks to go until my departure on 04 February 2017, I’m hoping that with the improved internet access in West Africa to be able to continue this blog until my return!