Welcome home, Sister!

Not enough hands for the horde of fans!

The best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had were in Gambia. It was a picnic on a beach. The only description I have is: sublime.

I think of them often and I think of Gambia.

I was there about 12 years ago and it was like a celebrity home-coming. If you can theoretically trace your roots back to Africa, you too might get the same approving welcome that I did.

I once heard an anecdote about a young man who’d been adopted by white parents.  During his search to discover who he was, he went to Gambia where he was greeted with welcome home, Brother. He felt an instant sense of belonging.

It’s the first time I’ve travelled abroad and been greeted like the African Queen who’d returned to her palace. Everywhere I went I heard the cries: Welcome home, Sister! All the children in the village raced towards me to hold my hands. Much to the bemusement of the tourists on my trip. I think they thought I might be a celebrity who they just happened not to recognise. The children were all gorgeous: beautiful faces and beaming smiles. They held on for dear life refusing to let go of me.

I knew about Gambia’s tendency for coups when I was there but back then it was no big deal.  Back then they were peaceful hiccups that needed a new description. I remember a Gambian man saying to me we accept everyone and celebrate everything and he laughed a hearty laugh.

They were so kind and welcoming, I hope this next phase is a peaceful transition. They deserve nothing but the very best.



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