31 March 2016


Day 7 - maths day

Hi all at home. We have had another good day here, which started with a trip to Kings Kid Academy to do our maths workshop. 16 children from grades 2 and 3 turned up during their holiday for some fun games surrounding number and place value. They loved using the dice, carpet tiles, mini whiteboards and other games and it was a delight to see such bright mathematicians among them.

Rachel with some KKA children during the maths workshop 

Building the hundred square

The children and team with their completed square

Our next stop was to visit Yankuba's lovely new house in which he took great delight in showing us. It is looking light and airy and he is very happy there. He treated us all to drinks at his home and introduced us to his new friends and neighbours.

Relaxing at Yankuba's new compound

We hope you like our Pageant team picture- top marks for those of you who can guess what we are trying to spell!!! In preparation for tomorrow and our trip up country, we had a lazy afternoon at the hotel. We even joined in with some Dutch aerobics and are now exhausted!

Bit of spare time on our hands- can you guess what we are doing?!

More news from us on Friday as we imagine tomorrow will be a late one! Night all X

30 March 2016


Day 6 - green team victory!

Hello everyone at home. Today was sports day at Lutheran LBS. The grade four children had come in during their Easter holidays especially for our visit. They had great fun despite the scorching sun running, hopping, jumping and relaying. They especially loved the skipping, sack and egg and spoon races!
The sack race

Special thanks goes to our star starter, Wandifa, who we will be recommending for a starring role in Rio 2016!!! Green team came out victorious thanks to their enthusiasm and team work.
 Celebrating the green team's success!

We finished the morning with the ever popular parachute, playing lots of games including the much loved spinner game (Washing Machines).

Parachute fun

After the school, we had a tour of Wandifa's new compound, which is looking brilliant, and then went on to see his family at home. It was lovely to see Alieu who is sponsored by Frances and catch up with the others once they had finished their extra classes at school.

Frances with Alieu

Our final stop was to Abdoulie's compound where we treated the children to a slightly late Easter treasure hunt! The children had such fun finding the Easter chicks! We then played frisbee, bouncy ball games and skipping with the children. It was great to meet Abdoulie's little girl, who is beautiful, and see Mustapha again looking so happy and cheeky! We began some goat negotiations with some local people and will keep you posted with this! 

Abdoulie's little girl

In search of chicks!

Lots of love to all at home X 
PS Ian, your jokes are missed!! Big hugs

29 March 2016


Day 5 - Caroline arrives

Hello! Today was one of our busiest yet. We began the day with a visit to Kotukala School, followed by a visit to Abdoulie Touray's new compound. Abdoulie's children were very well and enjoyed some fun games of frisbee, and Mama, his second daughter, was delighted with her presents from her sponsor.

Playing frisbee with the Touray girls
Playing frisbee with the Touray girls
Ellie, Mama, Rachel and Binta

Little Mai playing balloon games with Wandifa
 On our way back to the main road, we bumped into Samboujang which was a lovely surprise. We were pleased to see him looking so well and happy - he is now so tall! Next stop was Fak's nursery where we were greeted by three sponsored FE girls who are all studying automotive engineering. They are all doing very well and are definitely bright, hard-working women determined to succeed.

Frances, Fatou J, Tina, Jessica, Ellie, Fatou C and Rachel

Fatou informed us that the women's group are now on their second rotation of the Pageant loan scheme, after all the women paid back their money within three months instead of six! We talked in detail about Fak's latest projects with him before heading off to the airport to meet Caroline! The plane was very late but we kept busy making Caroline a delightful welcome sign.

Our amazing welcome sign for Caroline!

Once Caroline had come through security, we did a spot of shopping to buy resources for some newly sponsored students. Finally we met up with Foday, an electronics engineering student, who is in need of some new tools. 

Back at the hotel, we went for a run along the beach before heading out for dinner. We have just sorted all the sports equipment ready for our sports day at Lutheran tomorrow!

Goodnight all x

28 March 2016


Day 4 - parachutes and presents

Hello everyone! Today was another busy and hot day. We began by visiting a couple of FE students, paying fees and collecting letters. We had a lovely catch up with Isatou, one of our most chatty, outgoing and accomplished students.

Ellie, Frances, Isatou, Tina and Rachel 

Then it was on to visit Wandifa's brother Baba and his family, where we met their new baby girl and introduced the children in the village to parachute games!

Children at Baba's compound

Baby Binta

Children enjoying the parachute games 

We also delivered gift token items to them including cooking pots, bowls and buckets. Fatoumatta, their oldest daughter, proudly showed us her garden where she is busy growing onions in preparation for Ramadan (note to Ann and Brian- she would love some packets of tomato and lettuce seeds to grow before the rainy season).

Baba's family with their new gifts
After that, we headed to Siffoe to meet up with more sponsored children and collect letters for sponsors. We enjoyed some delicious, freshly peeled oranges fresh from the market this afternoon and have had a nice catch up with Linda at dinner. Once again the Gambian Pageant team were amazing! 
More news tomorrow! X

26 March 2016


Day 3 - in search of a bargain!

Good evening all! Today we were a man down as Tina was poorly but the rest of the team leapt into the breach. We headed into Banjul first thing which felt like going home! It was lovely to see some of our FE students and catch up with their latest news. We collected letters, handed out sponsorship money and then went to the market to spend all the money from the Pageant gift token scheme. We put our bargaining skills to the test and came away with some great deals on mosquito nets, cooking pots and bowls, buckets and other gifts. We will be handing these out over the next few days to those who we feel are in need.

We have a busy day planned for tomorrow so are planning an early night in preparation. X


Day 2 - Finding our feet

Good evening all. We have had a brilliant full first day. It started with a leisurely 9:30am pick up to begin our compound visits. First we headed to Linda's house to pick up some charity bits and to check in with her. Then it was off to visit Ebrima's compound, who is sponsored by Rachel. It was good to finally meet his father.

 Ebrima with Rachel

Next stop was Jonsaba's compound where we were pleased to find her and Mo Lamin both looking well. She was very pleased to receive a new handbag full of goodies and is excited at the prospect of starting her own small business. 
Our third stop was to the Manneh compound which is always a favourite of ours. We were pleased to see them looking well and are sending our best wishes to Mariama who is currently in hospital after a fall. 
us with the Manneh family

Next we visited Wandifa's compound briefly to catch up with his lovely children and some other sponsored children, including Aminata who is sponsored by Ellie. She was very proud to show us her excellent school report.
 Ellie with Aminata

On the way back, we called in at another couple of compounds to collect and deliver letters, before enjoying a quick swim and happy hour cocktail at the hotel. We have just returned from a lovely dinner with Linda and are turning in for the night.

 Seedy comparing heights with Yankuba!

Special shout out to Pippa- we cannot count on two hands how many people send their best wishes to you and Ian. Lots of love X X X

25 March 2016


Back in The Gambia

Once again a team from Pageant is back in The Gambia for the regular Easter holiday trip. And once again there are problems with internet access, so Frances is sending text and photos by email, and Dave the Webmaster is uploading the posts on Blogger. Here is the first post....

Hello everyone! This year's Easter team is a little smaller than planned, but just as enthusiastic! Tina is our deputy "head girl" and is accompanied by Frances, Rachel, Ellie and Caroline (who is due to arrive on Monday). We plan to visit lots of compounds, do a couple of maths and sports sessions in schools and catch up with lots of sponsored children and their families. There may also perhaps be a trip up country to look forward to!

We arrived safely and were greeted by three very smiley PAGEANT Gambians at the airport. We have lots to do this trip so are starting with an early night so that we are fresh and raring to go tomorrow. Stay tuned for more updates and photos during our stay (apologies for the light in the photo).

Love to all at home X