We transfer down to the waterfront and board the Kassoumaye Steamship for our 3 hour excursion to Gambia and its capital, Banjul.
On arrival in Banjul, we enjoy a city tour including a visit to the markets and a tie-dye factory. After breakfast, we take a pilgrimage to Juffure by boat and visit the native house of the famous author Alex Haley. We leave Banjul and travel through the countryside visiting various villages of different ethnic groups on our way back to Dakar and our hotel.
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After breakfast this morning, we transfer to the Ker Moussa Monastery to attend Mass celebrated with traditional African instruments and joining of services with a local minister. This evening a "welcome" dinner is included at our hotel.
Time to visit with the family before transferring by boat back to Banjul and our hotel. Dinner tonight at a local restaurant featuring African Ballet. Time to view its pure African architecture style and bustling lifestyle.
We'll also visit the markets and the handicraft village of Soumbedioune.
By September 2014, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the non-governmental organization with the largest working presence in the affected countries, had grown increasingly critical of the international response.
Speaking on 3 September, the International President of MSF spoke out concerning the lack of assistance from United Nations (UN) member countries: "Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it." In a 26 September statement, the WHO stated that "[t]he Ebola epidemic ravaging parts of West Africa is the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times" and its Director-General called the outbreak "the largest, most complex and most severe we've ever seen".In March 2015, the United Nations Development Group reported that due to a decrease in trade, closing of borders, flight cancellations, and drop in foreign investment and tourism activity fuelled by stigma, the epidemic had resulted in vast economic consequences in both the affected areas in West Africa and even in other African nations with no cases of Ebola.On 28 January 2015, the WHO reported that for the first time since the week ending 29 June 2014, there had been fewer than 100 new confirmed cases reported in a week in the three most-affected countries.Stating that "the Ebola outbreak has decimated families, health systems, economies, and social structures", the WHO called the aftermath of the epidemic "an emergency within an emergency." Of special concern is recent research that shows some Ebola survivors experience a so-called "post-Ebola Syndrome", with symptoms so severe that survivors may require medical care for months and even years.Scientists have long believed that bats are involved in the spread of the virus, and, incidentally, the boy's home was in the vicinity of a large colony of Angolan free-tailed bats.A delicious lunch and lecture on "The Great West African Empires" is included. Dinner tonight is included at a typical Senegalese Restaurant.