08 November 2018


Day 2 - Bees, babies and Brikama

Our first stop today was at the bee keepers' area in the forest between the airport and Brikama.  We were there, not just to buy honey as we have often done in the past, but to start the ball rolling on a proposed new project concerning training and education about bee keeping.  One of our members keeps bees as a hobby and has kindly donated the considerable sum raised by his own honey sales to help the bee keepers of The Gambia.

hives in the forest

We drove into the small area beside the 'honey shop' and were greeted by Isa and Bakary, both of whom were extremely knowledgeable and kind enough to spend some considerable time showing us around the area in which their hives are situated.

Bakary and Isa
They also showed us some empty hives, described how they bait them with wax to entice the bees into them, explained the difference between the two types of hive used and told us about the training courses they offer when funds allow. They also told us about visits made by school children to see the bees.... altogether a very useful visit that made us feel we could do something really helpful with our 'honey money'.

empty hive

Their boss is away on a trip at the moment, expected back on Monday, so we will go back next week to discuss finances with him and how best to help them.

Next, to Brikama hospital, to the maternity unit with some beautiful baby hats and blankets donated by various kind groups of ladies. These were very gratefully received by the nursing staff, who took us to meet some of the new mums and their tiny babies.  We gave out several items ourselves and left the rest to be distributed by the nurses.

baby with hat & blanket

On through Brikama to do some family visiting, buying a couple of sacks of rice along the way - gifts from sponsors. One such family had a new member of the compound to show us...a baby goat, just 4 days old!  So cute.....

baby goat
On to Jambanjelly, more family visiting and catching up with old friends, always such a pleasure sitting under the trees, with loads of small children coming rather shyly (at first!) to see these strange visitors. Regina and I were both 'adopted' by a little girl and boy respectively, who were delighted to play 'Round and round the garden's and 'Insy winsy spider'... MANY times!!
We returned to the hotel using a new road that has been made from Jambanjelly to Sukuta.  A really good road, with loads of roundabouts - however, the roads leading to the villages either side of the new road are still the usual sandy tracks, with just a few yards of tarmac leading from each exit!! Very Gambian...but the new road is excellent and made our journey home a lot shorter.
Back at the hotel, sorted out some payments to children who have suddenly produced their reports!  Word gets round really quickly that we have arrived....

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