We left the Gambia for the first time since January last week! To the islands off the West African coast called Cape Verde. It was really beautiful, with good food, beaches, and mountains. We went with two other volunteers and had a great time. We traveled to Dakar, Senegal by car, spent the night at the Peace Corps transit house in Dakar, woke up the next morning and flew out of Senegal to Cape Verde. Dakar was very similar to Gambia’s city area, except Dakar is huge and has things like over passes, a downtown, and a mall. We met some Senegal volunteers staying at the transit house and our experiences sound very similar.
We also met a Cape Verde volunteer at the Dakar airport and figured out we were all on the same flight. So when we got off the plane, he helped us get a taxi to the Peace Corps office and took us around town for awhile. Later he helped us find a ride to the village where we met up with another volunteer who we stayed with that first night. It was great, the village was right on the beach where people were swimming and there was a restaurant that over looked the water.
It was fun to talk about our Peace Corps service with volunteers from Cape Verde. They all have electricity, running water, refrigerators, flush toilets, nobody lives with a host family, etc. Totally different experiences! The next day we flew to Sao Vicente where we went to a music festival called Bahia Das Gatas. We hung out with some Cape Verde volunteers there, went to the beach, attended the music festival, and walked around the cute little Europea- like town. We were all impressed with Cape Verde, it’s much more like Europe than like Africa.
Next we took a ferry to Santo Antao which is a mountainous island. We stayed with married volunteers on top of the mountain and then made our way around the island to a small village where another volunteer lives. There, we stayed in hotels that cost roughly 20 USD per night (and they were nice too!).