We started the 2015 Love4Gambia run on Tuesday morning, right at the border of Senegal and The Gambia. The first 5km are on a dirt road, but it looks more like a hiking trail! Since it’s the end of the wet season (there are only 2 seasons in The Gambia: wet and dry), the roads are full of puddles and mud… But the good side about this time of the year, is that the nature is very green. I did have to stop a few times to take pictures. The Gambia is a beautiful country! 🙂
First day went really well. I had a week off running before my trip so I was super fresh, but I knew I had to take it easy because there were 16 more days of running in front of me. Yankuba, Pa Modou and Modou are an awesome support crew. There is always one guy running with me to keep me good company! And whenever I want to stop, right away they will offer me water, snacks and they will even massage me with the stick roller! This is what I call first class service!
The second day didn’t start exactly the way we planned.. The jeep got stuck on a dirt road right at the back of the hotel (we wanted to take a short cut….lesson learned!). 2 hours later, we finally got it out with the help of a dozen really nice men that stopped to give us a hand. It’s in the Gambian culture to help each other like that, it’s wonderful!
But that means we started our run at the worst time of the day, around noon. It was very warm, humid and the roads were very muddy, but it is part of this whole experience, right?! It reminded me of a saying a friend told me before coming here: When things don’t go to plan, they usually make good stories at the end of the day! That night, we were already laughing about it!
Today was my favorite day so far. We started the run on the trans-Gambia highway that leads to Banjul. No more dirty shoes! Yeah! Throughout the day, we had the chance to visit a few schools. The students are always so happy to meet and greet us! They want to shake our hands, take pictures with us and they always thank us for what we are doing. Their smile and energy are fuel for me, for my run. It’s a great reminder of why I’m doing this.
I’m in heaven right now. So far, this experience is beyond my expectations. I’m doing what I love the most, running and traveling, while helping others. I’m really looking forward to the next two weeks! 🙂