Who wouldn't enjoy strolling down to the beach or pool every morning, sipping piña coladas from a freshly harvested coconut and lazing for hours in the sun with a new love? Others struggle to survive once transposed from Banjul to Birmingham. Denise Hardwick was just one woman among many who found her love did not last.
The word actually means "like" but very often they are mistranslated by local people who think it means "I love you", but actually it means "I like you".
To make your life easier, do not take it personally when men insist so much.
Gambian women, even when they are very interested, will always start by declining your amorous advances both to test the pretender's determination, and to show that they are not an easy prey.
Humour is used in many situations in Gambia, and it can be a very effective tool to communicate difficult messages without insulting people.
Contraceptives are used among some young girls to prevent pregnancy, but again it is used more in the urban than rural areas due to illiteracy, poverty and lack of accessibility.
However, other relationships may be platonic; this may be co-workers, neighbours etc, who are friends and may visit each other quite often, although this sometimes may result in a physical relationship.