11 February 2017


Thursday 9 February - Bakau to Latikunda

More letter forms delivered today, over quite a large area including several schools and a lot of bumpy, sandy roads.  A wide range of experiences, too, from one girl who was really cross with herself for having slipped one point down from the perfect score (only for one term), to another who has not attended school at all this year.... the excuse made by her sister was that she was waiting for her uncle!  I have yet to find out from her father exactly what that means...
A visit to the bank to withdraw a chunk of dalasis went well - no problems there, I was pleased to find.
Another success was a visit to Mr Abolly's school supply shop... some readers will know that this is always a memorable experience.  This time I did not buy any exercise books from him, but got a good deal on several other items of school-related stationery.
Back to the hotel in time for a swim before meeting up with Linda to go out for dinner at Seashells.  We had a delicious meal - Miriam and Richard are already planning another visit there before they go home (or maybe two, said Miriam).

Friday 10 February - a mixed bag

Today started off with a Naming Ceremony.  The wife of one of our very first sponsored students gave birth to a son a week ago and I was invited along to the celebration.  Lovely baby with very proud parents - a delightful occasion.
Back to the hotel to change out of my "smart" gear into something more suited for clambering in and out of the minibus and then off on a relatively short round of visits, this time in the Serrekunda to New Yundum area.  The minibus was not behaving too well today and we had a number of stops to re-prime the petrol pump.  Abdoulie was not happy... a lot of muttering about maintenance went on before the team departed rather earlier than usual.
Linda had mentioned that the Gambian children who live with her were very excited to hear I was coming and would be staying at a hotel - would they be able to come and play in the pool, they asked.  Susan here at Sand Beach said it would be no problem at all, so, as I had returned early, I gave Linda a call and she brought them over for the rest of the afternoon.  They had a WONDERFUL time, playing in the children's part of the pool for nearly two hours and then finishing their visit off with a drink and some chips.  Delightful children, really well behaved - it was lovely to see them having such a great time.
Miriam had joined us but Richard had not been feeling too well - however, I am pleased to say he recovered in time for a very good hotel dinner -  butterfish went down very well with the three of us.
Tomorrow will see a splitting-up of the Gambian team... Abdoulie and Wandifa are booked to help Miriam and Richard take a load of children to the beach (something they always do while they are here) and Yankuba and I will go with Jereh for some more visiting and handing-out of letter forms.
More to follow..... internet permitting...

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