I couldn’t start this post without first of all thanking to all the volunteers around the world. To all the brave, happy and aware people who turn miracles to reality. From my heart, THANK YOU. You are my real heroes and the hope of millions.
My Gambian experience started in a random and total freestyle way. As I always liked to do things. Back to freedom and going with the flow I decided to book the flights straight after a conversation with a Spanish friend that used to live there. Her fresh and peaceful ways (she had just arrived weeks ago back to Spain) inspired to make this trip possible.
She reminded me of me after my trips to India. So I took it as a sign.
Most of the times the answers you are looking for are just in front of you, you just need to be awake enough to see it. Sometimes you are not going to see them because probably you are not ready or you don’t want. But for brave people is just about time to find and achieve their happiness and mostly meaningful life.
There are so many stories that I could share of my trip. About generosity, like how a random Gambian man presented to me his only one bicycle when he found out that I was lost and walking alone for 5 km in the middle of the nowhere or how I had to take my own water from the draw-well so I could “take a shower”. Or how I danced the tribe dancing a under the moonlight, how I woke up in a treehouse with the sound of the waves and watch the sunrise and sunsets from the lovely beach..
But I’m going to talk about the one thing I had clearly in my mind, I wanted to help or let’s say contribute somehow during my stay. To be honest I am not the kind of people that like standard or typical touristic pack holidays. My holidays need to involve some shocking experience. With this trip I was also looking to renew my values and to prove myself as I used to do. Me, my backpack, no mobile phone or foreign interferences and over everything to meet extraordinary people and to experience some real life.
Total excitement and full of energy I decided to search for some NGO’s in Gambia. I don’t want to generalize but to my surprise, most of the NGO’s that offer this voluntary works are merely foreign business. So after being trying for some weeks I gave up on internet research and got determinate to find a project once I was landed in Gambia.
Remember about the law of attractionI talked about in last posts? Here another proof that when you want something and you concentrate your energies with the best attitude and honest goals, things arrive to you and they happen.
After two days of almost introducing myself to every Gambian on the streets, beaches, guele gueles (local buses for local people). I had the answer next to my door! There was a local nursery school in Yundum. I had a small interview and got accepted to help in whatever was needed during the weeks I was going to spend here in Gambia.
Waking up with the hugest smile I walked everyday to take the guele guele that left me close to the school. All the children were waiting to wish me a good morning. The first day couldn’t help almost not to cry. To see these little joys of happiness sharing pencils and papers when there is a total lack of school material and resources.. I was very intense I may say.
But the lack of material is not an excuse or an inconvenient to attend to school. The way they learn is almost magical. I realized that they are far more than intelligent than us. I sincerely can’t picture a kid of the “developed” society learning or studying this way. Oh my god, we are getting used to use tablets and these kids in Africa don’t have even enough pencils to write!
One thing is granted, the aim to survive makes you stronger and more intelligent. It gives you the hugest self-power of achievement. Nothing can let you down or stop your wills to do anything. You are capable to realize every wish you dream of.
I realised how slaves we are in our developed society. I had to leave to an “undeveloped” country to be able to feel free and to live my days fullest.
It was so curious and even shocking when I went I had the chance to “get a shower”. Oh yeah, we used the hot tea pots to boils the water. We put the hot water into a big bowl and that how we shower ourselves. The act of holding the bowl and dropping the hot water on my body inspired me such in a way. I was not missing my fancy old ways, I was appreciating the water, every drop of it. The feeling of warmth was so comforting. The way we live in our developed societies turns us blind and we stop flavouring the simple but greatest pleasures. The things and feelings that matter the most. Satisfaction. The known of oneself. The caring about the others. The silence. The real and nice food. By mostly, to feel AWARE.
All this makes me think that maybe the problem in our societies is that we have everything very easy and when something starts to require a little bit of effort we prefer to turn to the easy way, even if that means that we are going to lose the greatest experience and what we really wanted to achieve.
Those weeks with the kids gave me the loving feeling of lasting. When you experience the truth of life and see what really matters in this world, your own preoccupations automatically vanish. You feel that you are part of something bigger, of something more important that your own only self.
Your awareness grows. The way you see, experience and savor things change dramatically. You finally feel alive and free. Your eyes are not covered anymore (or at least for a big while they will be fully open, until sadly you go back to your “develop” society and your values get converted once again due to the fact that you must adapt to survive as well. But for the moment, you feel the luckiest person to be growing as a human being trying to help as much as you can in whatever is needed. But actually you are the one who is being helped and inspired by this undeveloped society.
And this would be mostly my conclusions after my weeks my weeks in the Gambia.
Feeling the luckiest girl in the world for being able to adapt myself to every circumstance and learn from them. Feeling deeply loved by the universe to give me these opportunities of constant growing and feeling immensely happy to share it with you.
Remember that you can be the miracle of someone else.
Thanks to all the people I met during my trip in Africa. You all left me a magic feeling and made me grow as a person. Can’t recognise enough your braveness and help you offer to our world. Thank you my friends in Gambia, Marta, Adriana, Eva, all the teachers of the school, Mistress Vintu, Jassey, all the kids, Tijan for showing me the insides of Gambia in the local ways and turn the hard days into a beautiful growing experience. Hope to see you soon again my dear friends!! You have all a place in my heart.
And dear family, friends and readers, don’t hesitate to contact me in case you would like to help somehow at the school 🙂 One pencil is a year of learning for one kid in the Gambia.