12 April 2009
Today we travelled to the north bank on the Banjul ferry, having been joined by Jemma who was visiting her sponsored child for the first time. We crossed the river as foot passengers and took a taxi from Barra to Bakalarr where we met Ousman to check on the progress of his new art studio. He's in the process of extending his original studio and has completed the walls and roof. We're sure it'll look very good when it is finished. He also showed us his current portfolio which included some stunning pictures.
We took the opportunity to photograph the new block at Bakalarr School which has now been completed and looks very smart. We thought the school grounds were looking particularly well cared-for. Frances and Claire were very pleased to be able to use the toilet facilities and also wash their feet!! In true Gambian style the taxi needed a little helping hand to restart so with a great push from six staff members we finally set off for Albreda where we had a welcome cold drink from Abdou.
We then stopped off at Wandifa's brother's compound in Juffreh to catch up with several sponsored children including Fatou, Jemma's student and to update our records. We were pleased to see they were all in very good health and had some excellent reports to show us. Frances met Seedy who she helps sponsor along with her dad, for the first time. He and Fatou were very pleased to receive some presents from her and Jemma and Seedy promised to keep up his outstanding performance at school.
Next we went to Sika to see the brand new market place which has been funded by PAGEANT and recently completed. We all thought it looked very good and finished to a very high standard. Bakary Gitteh met us there and explained that the market was in daily use every morning where all the local women have the opportunity to trade each day. We went back to his compound for a delicious lunch before driving back to Barra to catch the return ferry. We were very pleased to be met by Goodboy in Banjul who drove us back to our hotel in high spirits!