The mice that have invaded my apartment in the past seem to have vanished, but they have now been replaced by lizards. Since the lizards eat bugs, instead of my food, this is an improvement, but I still jump a bit when one scurries across the wall in front of me. Many Gambians are afraid of lizards, and spread stories of how they can hurt people, but I’ve been told by local wildlife experts that these stories are nonsense. On the other hand, my watchman was rightly alarmed in 2009 when a crocodile wandered into our backyard. At the time, I was living about a mile from a nature preserve with lots of crocodiles, and this one apparently wandered off and couldn’t find his way home.
Please pray for this country. Even though the Gambia has had no cases of Ebola, the country has been badly affected by the Ebola scare, since the winter tourists from Europe have been staying away. Apparently this is the case all over Africa, even in countries that are thousands of miles away from the Ebola outbreak. The Gambian economy is very dependent on tourism, so this has been a major blow. Hotels and restaurants are closing for lack of customers, so people are losing their jobs. This follows a bad rainy season, in which many farmers lost their crops.