Why The Gambia?

9 04 2011

Hey all!

Since I am traveling to The Gambia this summer, I have decided to keep a blog. I plan on adding new posts weekly to update everyone back home on what I’ve been getting into. Hopefully this will allow me to forward my experiences to you and act as a looking-glass into a developing country. I am new to this, so please bear with my seemingly inevitable blogging faux pas.

For those of you who don’t know, The Gambia is the smallest mainland country in Africa and is located on the north-western coast of the continent. Agriculture is huge for The Gambia, as it accounts for 90% of the country’s exports. However, due to Gambia’s intense rainy season (June – October), whereby they receive ~1000mm of precipitation, the country has numerous issues in the agricultural sector, specifically with soil loss and erosion.

How is a country where 1/3rd of the people live on less than $1.25/day supposed to grow and thrive when the means in which it relies on for income is continually challenged by Mother Nature?

During the summer, Dan Hyland, Danielle Ahadzie and I will have the privilege of working with The Gambian Ministry of Agriculture with the aim of addressing the roots of these problems and providing our insights into how to approach these issues. Now I know full well that 3 months in a country is not enough cure it of its long-term ailments (I mean I’m good, but not that good…), but I feel that with the drive and determination that we bring to the table we can realistically get the ball rolling on an improved future for the Gambians. 

As I count down the days until my May 4th departure, I am growing more and more excited but also apprehensive of the lifestyle that I will have to become accustomed to. As this is my first trip overseas, I have my own thoughts on what it will be like to live in an African country, as I’m sure you all do, which stem mainly from T.V., movies and some background research. Hopefully my firsthand experiences will enable me to paint a new picture of Africa in all your minds.

Thanks again and enjoy!

ps. Please feel free to comment on my posts with your thoughts or concerns and contact me directly if needed.

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3 responses

9 04 2011
Spencer Weber

This summer is going to be unbelievable. I’m excited to get back ‘paint pictures of Africa’ with ya. Keep me in The Gambian loop!

9 04 2011
Scott Bagg

Johnny, the blog is lookin’ good. I can’t wait to live vicariously through you three this summer, you will have an amazing experience and memories to last a lifetime. I look forward to reading your weekly posts, make sure you keep this guy informed!!

14 04 2011
danielhyland

nice first post! can I get a few tips for when I start mine ?? 😉
It’s gonna be a great summer!

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