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54 Pages

Under an Ethical Sky

Byby Polly Pattullo

A morality tale Once, when Europeans went on holiday to The Gambia, they all stayed on the coast near the capital, Banjul. With its wide, sandy beaches bordering the Atlantic Ocean, the ‘Smiling Coast’, as it was known, welcomed tourists to its manicured resorts. The hotels looked like any other hotel the tourists might have visited in say Florida or Spain, and provided food just like the tourists ate at home. The visitors rarely left the beach. Sometimes they complained about the young men, the bumsters, who chatted up the women; sometimes they bought carvings from the endless craft stalls clustered around the resorts, alongside bars advertising roast beef specials. They would never get to see anything that was ‘real’ about The Gambia although once a week they would get a bizarre glimpse of reality when their hotels offered an ‘African buffet’ and put on a folkloric evening of drumming and dancing.