22 February 2011


Day 1: 21 Feb

Safely arrived without a hitch. Divested myself of shirt and sweatshirt down to my Pageant t-shirt before leaving the plane - I understand the customs people recognise PAGEANT which may come in handy as they have been tricky before.
Walking out the door of the 757 was like hitting a wall of heat.  For a moment I wondered if somehow we were experiencing heat from the engine exhaust, but, no, it was just another typical upper 30s centigrade day in the Gambia.
We queued in the mercifully cooler customs hall for 15 minutes or so.
An elegantly dressed Gambian lady weaved through the queuing line of thermally shocked tourists with her bevy of children in tow – a VIP it seems.  A customs official briefly questioned my large box containing a power supply and signal generator (part of our science teaching kit) but was satisfied with my official PAGEANT packing note.  And so we were through to be greeted by Pippa, Ian, Wandifa, Yankuba and Abdoulie.

Now it is evening and we are back at the hotel after a simple meal at a local restaurant.  I had a rather bizarre curry paella, not what I was expecting but perhaps in tune with the climate here.  Anne innocently ordered a pancake for dessert not realising they would spend the next hour finding some flour with which to make it – but the proprietor gave us a lift home by way of apology. This is the Gambia!
Tomorrow we are off to track down a mythical science training centre…

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