13 November 2016
Day 12 Sunday
We spent the day visiting compounds which are home to some of our friends in The Gambia.
We started at Lang’s compound. Lang is 13 years old and Kathy and I sponsor him. We chatted for some time and learned that the last book he read was “Animal Farm”. I think we will bring him a few reading books when we come in February.
We then went to Fatou and Ebrima’s compound. Fatou was the first student we sponsored in The Gambia which was about 10 or 11 years ago. She is the same age as our daughter, Helen and we have kept in touch all the time. Ebrima was sponsored by my father until he died four years ago and we have continued to help him. Both are in their mid-twenties now.
Ebrima is a very industrious young man. He is a qualified electrician and has started his own barbering shop, which he proudly showed us. As well as raising pigeons and chickens he is also a keen gardener with very green fingers.
You may remember reading in Pageant News (24 October 2016) that the parents of Manor Green Primary School donated packets of seeds to Pageant from their Harvest Festival celebrations. We gave a selection of those seeds to Ebrima who will grow vegetables for all the people in the compound. We also gave him a couple of packets of seeds bought in The Gambia to see how they grow compared with UK seeds. We will check when we come in February. We have already given out some packets of seeds and have some more to give out over the coming few days mainly to schools
On then to Fatou Lisa’s compound, an old friend from our days at The Atlantic Hotel where she worked. Alhagie, her son was sponsored by Ian and he is a very bright boy. He read to me and was word perfect with a good understanding of some quite difficult words.
As a result of donations received at Ian’s funeral in September, the Ian Howard Memorial Scholarship has been set up and we were very pleased to award this to Alhagie. His continuing education can therefore be assured.
We spent a very pleasant couple of hours chatting and playing with the children and then returned to the hotel. Tonight is David and Regina’s last night before they return to the UK. They have been great fun whilst here and worked very hard. We will miss them.
Ebrima with seeds donated from Manor Green Primary School
Alhagie with his scholarship certificate