"Sunny, friendly – and very exciting. night holidays in the Gambia can be a life-changing experience, especially if you leave the site. nMarlene Rindå Jikita has visited the country since the 1990s and combines the holidays with the help gambian families. n– It provides so incredibly much to get to know the families and be able to help those who really need it, " says Marlene. "
"Marlene Rindå Jikita, 49, still remembers the stunning approach over the african landscape when she landed in the Gambia for the first time in 1990. The ground under her was the first yellow of the Sahara hot sand. Then suddenly green with the guts of the gray. The Gambia was fascinating and colourful, from the first moment. "
"– I remember thinking, ”I have come home,” says Marlene. "
"The first two weeks long holiday, led to a half accommodation in the Gambia. Marlene was 20 years old and got a job at a timeshare-accommodations and a hotel. Since then, she has regularly returned to the hospitable country. "
"– for some reason, people have a lot of prejudices about the Gambia, the most come from those who have never visited the country. You should be aware that it is a developing country you visit, but the residents are extremely excited about tourism and very friendly and hospitable. "
"She emphasizes the importance of daring to leave the premises. To experience the Gambian culture and get to know people is a big part of the experience. Itself, she and her husband Martin Jikita made many friends through the years. Sons Tobias and Robert likewise. A few years ago taught Tobias to feel a jämngammal boy, Ismaila, or Smile as he is called. The boy told us about his life and his family. "
"– When we traveled home we could not drop the Smile. His history and living conditions went right into our hearts. The boys became friends on Facebook and when we went down the next time we visited the Smile in his native village. We brought with us clothes, school things and bought rice in the village. It made a big difference for the family. "
"Marlene tells him that they continued to have contact with Smiles family and always greets when they are in the Gambia. They hire the same chauffeur who will help them to buy rice and necessities. They leave the gifts to Smiles mom, who then distributes them to the residents of the village. In this way, they help not only the Smile but also the driver and his family, risförsäljaren and the needy in the village. "
"– the Food we buy costs around 1500 sek and gives a meal a day for ten people in three to four months. There are small amounts of money for us, but it makes a big difference for them, " says Marlene."
"Her main advice to those who will be travelling to the Gambia is to dare to discover the real Gambia. To talk with the locals and make excursions outside the premises. "
"a holiday in the Gambia"