Three weeks in a another world – three weeks in Afrika
First time out of Germany. The first time without family and friends within reach. The first flight …and then directly to Africa. “Did you perhaps overestimate yourself a little?” There are not even houses here …at least nothing that I would call houses. Semi-finished building ruins, corrugated iron huts and everywhere so frightening a lot of garbage. I had imagined it differently. At the beginning of my planned semester in The Gambia I found – to be honest – everything quite horrible. The garbage, the stench, the heat. At the beginning I didn’t know how well I would get along with Pierre-Victor, James, Manlafi, Mamie and the other teachers at Sannehmentereng School. That we would celebrate together in the evening, eating and going to church. And that they would quickly become not only super committed colleagues for me, but first and foremost good friends with whom I still have contact. Another good friend is Wandi, who took us in his taxi to the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Joyehto’s Beach Bar is the name of the beach bar where he works. There are palm trees, huge shells, sunsets right behind the ocean and waves up to three meters high. On some days you should even see dolphins. I would never have thought how hard it would be in the beginning to get my way in Grade 1 and Nursery 1 against 35 noisy, turned up and partly not a word of English speaking kids. And I never would have thought how much they would grow on me in the short time and how hard it would be for me to say goodbye again. The trainee house with the birds under the roof, the flexible power supply, the permanently clogged shower, the giant insects that somehow always found their way through the mosquito screens and the ant colony under the oven, with which we fought a constant war for our food, has also become a bit like a home. Just like Lamin and Ibrima, our Watchmen, who chivalrously protected us from all insects, became a bit like family. Like family is Hatab, the coordinator, who was always there for us and without whom we would really have been lost in the first week. After 3 weeks, 6 months earlier than planned, we are sitting in the plane back to Germany. Too early. The time here was too short.