Summers in Africa
Relocation | Motherhood | Healthy living
I've experienced so many things in life, but being a mother has been the greatest of them all...
We moved to Africa!
We currently have 21 family members that moved from The United States of America to Gambia. This is one of the videos from our family YouTube channel "Summers in Africa". My younger sister moved to Gambia 3 months after I did. We have 12 children between the two of us! All living in Gambia.
Welcome to our Gambia Blog
Gambia has a new library!
Our Latest Blog Entry
May 18, 2022
I do believe that everyone who moves from America has at least 1 thing that was difficult to walk away from. My top thing was the public libraries. Libraries have been a part of our homeschooling resources as well as family quality time activities when we lived in the U.S.
Out of all the people I know or am familiar with who moved to Gambia I've never heard of any book store or library here in Gambia. If there was one here I haven't been able to find it.
It felt so sad while I was going around the house collecting my children's library returns to give back to the library, before we went to the airport. In fact it was the last thing I did, because it was such an emotional separation knowing we wouldn't be having our family library experiences any longer.
Even if we ended up finding a library in Gambia I believed that it just wouldn't be quite the same. It wouldn't be what we were used to. I wondered if we'd be able to find the books that my children checked out over and over to the point of memorizing them!
Those memories are ones that I will always cherish. They are the precious ones we've build with the libraries in America. My family moved from South Carolina and the library on Assembly street was our absolute favorite!
This wasn't just for my children, but for myself as well. When I went to the library I usually would go straight to the self-help section and then to healthy living. Those fueled my heart and passions.
I was reading the comments from my YouTube channel "Summers in Africa" recently and came across a sister who was reaching out to invite our family to her grand opening event for the library she built here in Gambia! I couldn't believe my eyes as I read the comment. A library for Gambia...that's not far from where I live!
This wasn't just a new library opening though! This was history being made. An African American woman just like me. Who is a mom just like me, who moved from America with her children just like me! Who has big dreams just like me!!!
Sister Hannael moved here to Gambia 6 months ago from America. She brought with her big dreams and wasted no time with manifesting them into reality.
She hosted a grand opening ribbon cutting event and so many beautiful people came out to show their support. When I seen the library my heart felt so full. It felt like I got to bring a part of the library from America here to Gambia with me.
She shipped over 1,000 books from the United States to Africa.
I got to witness a library being built by an African American woman who who followed her heart and didn't know exactly where it would lead. She followed on faith! I could relate to this on multiple levels, because it was the heart that lead me and my family to Gambia.
Sister Hannael's leap of faith is an inspiration to so many others. She has touched and will continue to touch so many lives with her work, Inshallah! (God willing) I'm so proud of my sister in Islam.
Why we chose Gambia...
January 20, 2022
We are African Americans that moved back to Africa from the US. In 2019 my grandparents decided to move to The Gambia without even visiting first. An idea that was absurd to me! I just couldn't understand how my grandparents planned to move somewhere they'd never been without even 1 visit.
My grandfather said that he had the opportunity to move to The Gambia and although he didn't know what was there he clearly knew what was in the U.S and he was sure he wanted to move from America. My grandfather's dream was for our entire family to move to Africa.
My grandparents moved to Gambia without any other family members. They were in Gambia for 5 months before returning to the US to help me (the oldest grandchild) homeschool my children. They stayed set-up in Gambia and intended to come to the U.S only temporarily to visit with the family. They were in the US for 1 year visiting.
My grandfather was on a mission to get our entire family to move to Africa. He has always said it's where we truly belong. It was so painful that he fell terminally ill right before he had the opportunity to go back to Gambia.
He was in a rush to leave America. He decided in his heart that he didn't want to pass away there. If he'd no longer be on this earth he wanted to die and be buried in Africa. My grandparents had stayed with me and my family for 1 year before going back to Gambia. Upon returning to Gambia it was only 2 short months before my grandfather passed away. In my eyes he was the best man in the world.
When they returned to Gambia they took with them my uncle (my mother's brother) and his family. My heart gradually became set on moving to Gambia. The peace of mind my family was having there was unimaginable.
I could see the stress melt off of my family members faces when they'd share pictures. They looked like they were aging backwards! Becoming more youthful, happier, and peaceful with each month that went by.
To say it was stressful raising children in America would be the smallest tip of the iceberg. My stress as a mother trying to bring children up well in a fast paced society was becoming a true nightmare.
I needed the opportunity to raise my children in a place that was almost the opposite of where we lived in America. Our home was Columbia, South Carolina...moving to another state would've done nothing to help the crisis my family was experiencing. We needed to move out of the country and into a completely different society.
We needed Africa! Where in Africa? I did not know, but it made the most since to try Gambia, because it's a Muslim country and we already had family members that moved there from America.
My husband and I moved to Gambia with our 8 children without visiting first...absurd right?
The greatness we experienced on the ride to our new home in Africa!
Our Second Blog Entry
December 20, 2021
On the ride to our new home in Gambia, Africa I noticed that my teenagers interacting with each other, laughing, joking, and carrying on hilarious conversation! They were engaging with family and actually enjoying it.
My teenage daughter wasn't able to use her phone, my husband wasn't able to use his phone, and I wasn't able to use mine. I actually hadn't experienced a time where none of us were on our phone. It was so amazing! I thought to myself...Omg I'm so happy the internet connection is poor because my family is so happy enjoying this ride on the way to our new home.
Looking out the window on the way to our new home, I seen something I had never seen before. So many black men safely wandering the streets without a treat even thought of.
Black men riding motorcycles, laughing, talking, and being as loud as they wanted to be. It was a simple and free life I craved for my black son who is turning 14 soon.
In America every time he left the house I worried that he wouldn't return.
Seeing these young boys and men enjoy their freedom only took my mind back to the reality of what black men face in America. My heart was so happy for my son, Adam. He was free. The bricks finally were lifted off of my chest and I no longer felt my son's existence was a threat to his life...because he's black.
I was sure moving to Gambia couldn't have been a mistake.
After all, teens were coming back to life after the zombie world of social media. After being glued to the cellphone. It sounds so simple, but to crave the simplest things in life that are unreachable was our life in US. Families struggle with being present and being together in America.
I felt in my heart that I would get my children back. I felt that I would get my family back. So while most people believe the "con" of not having perfect internet outweighs the good of living in Gambia...I feel like not having perfect internet is the one thing that will continue to bring my family members closer. To me it isn't a con. It's one of the great benefit of living here.
Our children are living an enjoyable life of freedom
Our First Blog Entry
November 20, 2021
When we first got to our house in Gambia the children asked me if they could go outside to play. It was my boys Esaa (3yrs old) and Ismael (4yrs old). I said yes sure go outside and play. But Ismael replied "Who will watch us"? I said It's okay sweetie... it's safe to go outside with your brother. At that moment I realized that my children had never been outside without supervision. They were set free of being afraid to do the simplest things like play safely in their own yard. With kidnapping being so common in America you can barely allow your small children to sway much further than the doorstep by themselves.
My son refused to go outside without someone watching him, because that's what he's been told all of his 4yrs of living that needed. He couldn't understand how all of the sudden it's safe to play outside. My children are free now. They go out and run and they are safe. They are free here in Gambia.