Eating at a local family’s home? Sure, I would like to do that! No better opportunity to connect to local people, I guess. I would like to see how they live. And, I’d love to learn how to prepare Domoda and eat it together. I had this experience in The Gambia.
Meeting up with Bakary
Gambian people are amazingly open towards foreigners. Everywhere you walk, you get invited by them to come over to their house. Yet, it’s kind an awkward just doing so. ResiRest has found the best way to do it anyway. Bakary picks me up. First, we go to a local market together. We collect some vegetables and fish for today’s dinner. I’d never thought to eat that kind of fish. Maybe you’ve seen it, laying for quite some time in the open in the Gambian heat. With flies gathering on in. Nevertheless, Bakary bought it, and we moved on.
On our way, we say hello to Bakarys’ friends. These men hang around a shop all the time. One of the men owns the place, selling oil and car parts. Then we went home, where I meet two sisters of Bakary. Together with them, I am going to make dinner. They take me to the back end of the house. We arrive at a small open space, this is the kitchen. Cooking still happens on a stove with coles here. Obviously, you can’t do that inside the house. There are a water tap and enough space to prepare the food.
Cooking a Gambian meal: Domoda
For start, we cut the vegetables and mix up the spices. Then, it was time for the fish. They wash it, cut it, and wash it again. Afterward, it was baked on high fire. I realized it’s cleaner this way then I am used to. Since we don’t wash of the fish or meat before we cook it. Now I’ve seen it prepared this way, I dare to eat it. (note: of course, I didn’t get sick!)
The dish we make today is Domoda. All the food is put in a large bowl on the stove. Domoda is a staple in The Gambia. Its base is ground nuts, which is the national product of The Gambia. We have to leave the Domoda to cook slowly for at least an hour. So, we took the opportunity to walk around in the neighborhood.
A delicious way to get in touch with locals
Bakary shows me around. He shows me all the places of interest. It was terrific to see all, guided by a local. He told me a lot about the local life and answered all the questions I gathered during my stay in The Gambia. I learned a lot this afternoon. And when we got back, we shared the delicious Domoda meal. What a delicious way to get in touch with the local people & the local life; How can you not want this on your Gambia trip?!
About the author
Jacomijn keeps the Netherlands safe in her job as a police officer. Yet, as soon as she is off duty, she travels. You can find her travel stories on her website “Safe and healthy travel”. Also, there’s the extended version of this article about The Gambia.
About ResiRest in The Gambia
Most Gambian people are happy, but poor. We support local families, making them visible for tourist and travelers who visit The Gambia. By sharing a meal, you directly contribute to sustainable tourism and the welfare of your host family. Furthermore, you get the experience of a lifetime, just by meeting ordinary Gambian people. Join in? Please sing up here. See you soon!