Alningbara!

Alsamade Canada! (Good morning Canada!)

Alsamade Canada! (Good morning Canada!)

Running across an African country is such an eye opener! It’s only been a week, and already, I am amazed by the beauty of this country! The scenery is stunning, the people are incredibly nice, generous and welcoming and let’s not forget about the excellent food!! I am definitely enjoying every moment of this wonderful run! I would like to take this moment to thank Erin Poirier, the founder of the Love4Gambia run. She ran across The Gambia 5 years ago as a personal challenge and since then, it has been an annual run! There have been 5 runners so far: Erin in 2011, Andrea in 2012, Jennifer in 2013, Terry in 2014 and now me in 2015! Anyone willing to take the challenge in 2016? πŸ˜‰

Entering the Central River Region, 100km done!

Entering the Central River Region, 100km done!

Greetings are very important in Gambian society. Everybody greets one another, either verbally or through handshakes. ‘Alningbara’, (a Mandinka greeting) ‘Esama’ (Good morning) and ‘Salam Malekum’ (Peace be with you) are now part of my daily vocabulary. This is what I say (or yell) whenever I run across a village. You should see their smile when they hear me speak (or try to speak!) Mandinka! πŸ™‚

12092723_10153710244732612_1628958895_n

Everyday is a cultural experience for me: a mother asking me to hold her baby as a sign of respect, an elderly welcoming me on behalf of the entire village, children running/cycling beside me to keep me company, meeting principals of numerous schools and giving them schooling materials (Merci Franco CitΓ©!), taking a ride in a tiny canoe full of men, bikes and motorcycles…

12092743_10153710244112612_783665933_n

Helping schools in need

Helping schools in need

Saturday night was the highlight of my trip so far. I had the immense chance to assist to my own Naming Ceremony! Every year, the runner of the Love4Gambia run get the chance to receive a Gambian name. I was named ‘Sanna’ after the daughter of the owner of the lodge we were staying at. She gave me a necklace as a present and I gave her a Canadian flag pin. We spent the rest of the night dancing and singing! They even made me sing a French Canadian song to them (ouff)! So I sang ‘L’arbre est dans ses feuilles’ and everyone tried their best to repeat the words after me! It was a great moment! πŸ™‚

12092616_10153710242987612_1619414249_n

My Gambian sister ‘Sanna’ and I! πŸ™‚

We are now 150km into the run. Today is a rest day for us, which will be greatly appreciated by our legs! I’ve never ran that many km’s before in such a short time. My body is slowly adapting to the mileage. Thank you for my amazing support team for treating my like a queen!! We are 1/3 of our way to Banjul! Woot!!! πŸ˜€

Relaxing after a hard day at work!

Relaxing after a hard day at work!

It’s never too late if you want to help us raise fund for Love4Gambia:Β https://www.canadahelps.org/fr/pages/love4gambia-run-2/

12067996_10153710245982612_483704080_n

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Alningbara!

  1. Jon Keyes says:

    Juliane, I am so happy that you are doing so well and the experience is as amazing as you hoped it would be. I am also happy that you support team is taking good care of you along the way. Good luck on the rest of the journey.

Comments are closed.