We went to Barra with the volunteers on Eid al Fitr, which marked the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. The guide came considerably late with two drivers early in the morning. We sat in the car and quickly found out that that something is wrong with the tire. The owner told us that it’s empty. We drove to the nearest street light and the boys went to work. This was the beginning of our 4-day trip. This is Africa.
When they sorted out the problem, we went to Banjul, where we came upon a long line of vehicles. The first ferry was completely packed, so there was no chance of coming to the village more early. We reached an agreement with the staff and boarded the second ferry. The crossing is an experience in itself, especially because they also transport goats, fruit, furniture etc.
After we arrived at the village, they took us to the local market, where we bought bread, butter and coffee for breakfast. Many children, who just wanted our company, hugs and handshakes, joined us during our walk through the village.
The locals came to greet us after prayers. They showed us how to climb a palm tree and peel a coconut, while they sacrificed a goat, which is part of the tradition, at the Faal family compound.
Sandra and Greta decided to surprise people with donations on this important holiday, which they had prepared for the poorest people in the village. We walked through the village together, where they handed out financial help to the neediest. The people were so surprised that they didn’t fully grasp what was happening. Some of them just looked at us speechless and dared to show joy only after we left their courtyard. Some of them prayed out loud, jumped and screamed, while others hurried to the market to buy food. All in all, people were beyond happy and very grateful for the financial help they received. They said it’s impossible to express with words, how much we made their holiday special. This was the happiest moment of our trip.
We spent the afternoon with the Faal family. The boys made tea, some girls tried pouring tea back and forth in small glasses as well. We observed the women, while they made lunch in the open kitchen outside. We spent time with children and adults. Majda and Nastja got to know their sponsored child and her family and also visited her at home
Lunch was grilled goat meat and benachin (a dish with rice, meat and vegetables). Everyone enjoyed this excellent traditional meal.
The Fort Bullen monument and the museum were for closed for visitors due to the holiday, so we went on to the next villages, Juffureh and Albreda.