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The Gambia 2014

The Gambia

Kiang, The Gambia

In the forested region of Kiang in The Gambia, Musukayba prepares the family meal of rice and ground­nut stew. To do so, she must collect fire­wood for fuel, go to the market, pound grains and spices, pull water from the well, build the fire, cook over a three stone fireplace, and wash the dishes. It’s a long, long day.
The Gambia encompasses approximately ten kilometers north and south of “The Gambia River.” The long, narrow shape of this tiny country is the result of 17th century British colonial rule. The story goes that the English, with their powerful navy, could control only as far as their ships’ cannons could fire as they sailed up the river. The Gambia gained independence in 1965, becoming the smallest country on the African continent.
Photo © 2008 Steven Snyderman
Peace Corps Volunteer, The Gambia 2008-2010

Republic of the Gambia
Western Africa

Area 11,295 km2 (RANK 167)

Arable 27.9%

Capital Banjul (436K)

Population 1,840,454 (162/km2)

Literacy 50%

Life expectancy 64 yrs

HIV/AIDS 2.0% (18,000 adults)

In poverty 48%

Military 0.9% of GDP (RANK 138 of 195)

Languages English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars

Religions Muslim 90%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 2%

Gov’t Republic

GDP/capita $1,900

Agriculture rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (manioc), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats

Industry processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing

PCVs 1967-present, current 94, TTD 1,635, education, health, environment

Adult Books

Our Grandmothers’ DrumsOur Grandmothers’ Drums
by Mark Hudson, 1991

Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; Reprint edition (April 1, 1991)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0805016208

Book Description
British journalist/critic describes his involvement in local life and rituals during 14 months spent in the Gambian village of Keneba.

Kids' Books

Wild Wings
by Gill Lewis

Format: Paperback, 287 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1442414464
Age Range: 8-12 years
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011


Film: The Mirror Boy
Director: Obi Emelonye (2010)

Documentary: Exchange: Six Faces of the Gambia
Director: Mathew Welsch (2009)


Alhaji Bai Konte: Alhaji Bai Konte

Singateh Feat Manding Morry & Bro K: Fantang Ma

Focus Word

Focus Word for 2014 - "Home"

Mandinka: sukono (so-ko-no)
Wolof: kér (kairrr)
Jola: sindar (sin-day)

Copyright © Julie Olsen

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