My new friend Baba
Trip Start Sep 29, 2010
159Trip End Nov 29, 2011
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My new friend is called Baba. Baba is 27 years old and comes from The Gambia. To his Senegalese friends, he is known as Gambie and to his Gambian friends, Senegal. We met Gambie while on our way to find some lunch one day. He took us to his favourite café where we ate a local fish dish. Very tasty. Later that day we walked to a neighbouring village about half an hour's walk away.
The next day, Roger went on a pirogue (small boat) around the delta
The same evening, we met Baba again for a few drinks. Baba used to work as a driver until he had his passport and licence stolen a few months ago. Now he can no longer work as a driver and, because he has no passport, is living in Senegal illegally. Roger and I had planned to leave Ndangang the next day for the Gambia and we suggested to Baba that he should come too to sort out his papers so he could live and work freely again. At this suggestion, his face lit up. Baba has the biggest smile you’ve ever seen; a naturally very happy person. His current situation however meant that he was effectively stuck in limbo in a foreign country, with no legitimate means to make a living and thus no means to get home to The Gambia
So the next day the three of us set off for The Gambia. In all, it cost us 30quid to get us all there, including transport and food and drink for the day. After his and his family’s generosity to me the previous day, this was a small price to pay. And with him on board, he sorted out local rates for us all. We said goodbye when we’d sorted ourselves out at a place to stay in Fajara, on the Atlantic coast. We gave Baba 50Dilasi (2quid) to get home to his parents’ compound 30km away, hoping we would see him again before we left…