The red thread in my life is that life seems to always take unexpecting turns. This is in all aspects of life, from work, friends, and love. This time I found love in Gambia in Africa, so far from my expectations as it could be! To be correct love found me. Sitting with my morning coffee thinking of the amazingness in it all. Some called it an adventure when I had an English boyfriend, but now even more adventurous having a new boyfriend in Gambia.
After emailing Musa for 9 months I decided to take my chances and go to Gambia to visit him and his family. These days with terrorism done by Muslims, it caused a few reactions going to a Muslim country visiting a Muslim man! You are brave some say, some say I am crazy, others said I was irresponsible! I felt very confident that Musa was who he said he was, so convinced my daughter to go with me. Of course, I was doing research about Gambia before I went, of course, I was going openminded because reading about a world too different from mine is nowhere near being there.
I arrived at the warmest time of the year. I was sweating all over, day and night it was around 30 degrees or more so had to take bath as they say there twice every day! I and my daughter got the warmest welcome I had ever received. Musa and his oldest daughter picked us up at the airport and he was so happy to finally meet me, and so was I to meet him.
I was there for 5 weeks, my daughter only for one week because she was going to the UK to see a friend also. This one week made her want to go back with me next time I go. Musa’s daughters are the same age as mine, and it turned out they went on very well together.
Before I went there my main concern was not the culture, but how Musa would take my disability. He has been amazing about that. My Cp affects all my body, but a neck surgery led to me needing to use crutches and wheelchair. Also, I speak different, to which Musa just made the comment, well so does my mother! I thought hmm but when I met her she does have a speech impairment and speaks a bit like me.
It took me two weeks to observe Musa’s personality and be sure he is a man for me. We had a lot of fun together, on regea club, in a crocodile park where they allowed us to touch one of the crocodiles! Walking there around these dangerous animals I didn’t feel too relaxed! But it went well, the crocs were well fed every morning!
What made the most impression on me at my first visit to the Gambia was the history of the slaves. Most of you have heard about Kunta Kinteh from the book and tv series roots. Going there, seeing where they kept the slaves, learning how inhuman it really was had a deep impression on me, especially when the guide let me try to put hand cuffs on me, And showed me even hand cuffs for kids.
Love was growing as I came to know my new boyfriend. He is what I will call a colourful person, temperamental, kind, considerate, fun, wice. I also met new friends for life. Musas children get along with me very well. I also became very fond of the people on the country side in a village where Musas best friend lives. These people have a hard life, with no electricity and no water on theire property it is very different from my life being used to all comfort. To me, this simple life is so relaxing. People are so including and even if they don’t speak English they include me in a unique way.
Coming back to Norway was a difficult time, because Musa wants to come to Norway, but because of the situation in the world, it is very difficult for a man from a poor country to even get a visitors visa something I find very unfair as he has been to Europe lots of times before. And he has all the papers needed.
I went back since Musa’s visa process turned out to last longer than expected. I went back because I missed him too much. When I landed at the airport, my mind just relaxed and I felt at home.
My second trip I will write about in my next blog entrance.