19 February 2017


Saturday 18 February

I shall start today’s blog with the previous evening. The pool in the hotel had been drained to have some flaky paint removed and repainted. The hotel had started to refill it using 2, or sometimes 3 ordinary garden hoses. We had made a rough calculation that at that rate it would take a few days to fill the pool! The hotel’s solution – bring in the fire brigade. A fire tender arrived and deposited all its water into the pool through a fireman’s hose. Once empty the tender returned to base to refill. It did this at least 5 times. The pool was then still only half full!

February 18th is The Gambia’s Independence Day and this year was to be something special as it was to be President Barrow’s Gambian inauguration. The official inauguration was a low key event held in the Gambian Embassy in Senegal whilst negotiations for the former president to hand over were still in progress. Many, many people went to the celebrations, and we had expected, and were right that the roads would be very busy. Abdoulie and Yankuba went and managed to get into the stadium

We stayed at the hotel and spent the day getting together and checking the equipment for the microscopy workshops next week. We packed 40 folders (one for each participant) and 20 kits of equipment such as microscopy slides, tweezers, cutting implements, specimen bottles and small magnifiers. We also checked 20 small microscopes and 10 larger microscopes to make sure all were working satisfactorily. Tine is tight at the workshops and we don’t want to spend time having to sort out non-working equipment.

We interspersed this with a bit of R&R and then walked down to Luigi’s Italian Restaurant with Linda fora very enjoyable evening meal.

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