The drummer called John Thomas - A report from a prison in The Gambia, West Africa: A report from a prison in The Gambia, West Africa Gabriel Vockel A
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Document from the year 2002 in the subject Law - Miscellaneous, grade: keine, , language: English, abstract: As we walked a few more steps forward we came across three wardens, who opened another iron gate for us, while greeting us with the common African cheerful handshakes. In the main yard that lay in front there was a roughly tarred football field on which a handful of prisoners were kicking around with an old football. There were about 50 more prisoners sitting in circles against the walls of the fence around the field. They were chatting and laughing in an atmosphere portentous of a market or café rather than a prison. Our sudden appearance on the scene brought the conversation to a pause in some of the groups. They watched us curiously, but in a friendly manner and I was naturally a curiosity for them as a result of my white colour. As the ball was kicked towards the goal it hit me on the leg. The guy who had kicked it came running towards me with apologies. The metal board that was on the left side of the wall bore the number '291', written in chalk. The current number of inmates. The guys who were closer to me came over to shake my hands, and to express their gratitude for my visit. A bit out of the circles there sat a gentleman of about 40. His hair was being shaved by another prisoner with a simple razor blade. The fact that a warden was standing by and having small talk with them did seem to suggest that it was not forbidden to have a razor blade here. At the left side of the courtyard there was a small building with glassless window frames. We made our way into it. The walls were painted dark-green. In the front part of the room there was a big blackboard on which there was some faded writing, probably in Mandinka or Wolof, two of the local languages spoken around here. There was also an orderly row of benches and chairs, which in combination with the nature of the entire space gave the impression of a normal classroom. Apart from our 'Outsider Group' there were a handful of prisoners in the room. All the prisoners present here, and who were seemingly already good friends to the rest of the outsider group, greeted me very warmly. We took our seats, and Alex uttered some greetings, which were translated into Wolof for the sake of those who could not understand the language of the Commonwealth.


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