Bridging worlds

squirrel-thingThese days I spend almost every waking hour in front of my laptop, which is a bit bizarre, since I’m in such a beautiful country with birds and monkeys and crocodiles all around me … well, the crocodiles not so much, luckily they’re quite shy, but still. Bridging the somewhat surreal world of science (“Is the up- or down-regulation of certain genes dependent on altitude of origin of a Swiss collection of weeds?”) and the very real world of tropical Africa surrounding me is not always easy.

But luckily weekends also exist in The Gambia. Curiously, one Saturday per month is official clean up day: in the whole country no traffic is allowed, no shops are open, you’re not even supposed to walk around. Rather, you should stay at home and clean your house and compound. bee-eaterIt’s surprisingly strictly enforced – between 8 am and 1 pm there’s not a single car on the road, no shop open and only a few daring people out for a stroll …

As I’m a good citizen/tourist, I followed the government-imposed rules today and … well, I didn’t clean up the boat, although it’s in dire need of a good scrub. But I did stitch together a new cover for Brad, our inflatable. The old one – made of old “Mama Africa” rice bags – unfortunately only withstood the merciless UV-light for one month and simply started to disintegrate. I’m quite proud of the result and really hope the new tarp is going to last a little longer!

new-tarpNow I’m back at my rented room, and a little bit nervous, as there’s a chance of rain today. And here rain always comes with strong winds – I just hope that Widdershins won’t be blown away while I’m gone!

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