I fell asleep to the lumbering crackling of forest fires creeping up on our village. The perverse similarity of the sound of the crinkling fire with the gentle patter of rainfall confused my drowsy mind. Tomorrow I travel back to the Other Gambia, the Other Africa. Kombo, the coastal region of tourists, trash, cars, bumsters and beaches. That civilization, that urbanity is daunting. The wealth of options there in this most unwealthy of nations might be hard to adjust to after three months in village. My stomach is jubilant, my mind apprehensive. A Descartian dilemma.
‘Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things –air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.’
Ian McEwan – The Comfort of Strangers