04 February 2018


Sunday 4 February

Family Compounds

As it was Sunday we decided it would be good to visit families we knew and sponsored children, past and present. The weather has improved back to the usual Gambian sunshine and warmth. Not too hot with a gentle breeze. The cold North wind has stopped much to everybody’s relief.

First stop was to visit Lang, a lovely teenager who will be taking his GCE exams (yes UK ones) in the summer. He says that he likes science and also reading any books he can get his hands on.

On to Ebrima’s compound where we met him and Fatou, who despite being recently married to Yankuba, goes every day to cook for Ebrima and Ebe as well as Fatoumatta who has a 4 year old  lovely daughter, Isatou. Ebrima’s barber's business is doing well but at the expense of his garden which was only just getting going. We had hoped to see Yankuba and Fatou together but he had been called in to work on his day off. Several sponsored students arrived while we were there and were paid their money. The word goes around very quickly that Pippa is visiting, almost magically fast.

A short drive took us to Abdoulie and Aminata’s compound. Their new baby, Isatou had grown considerably since we saw her last November and enjoyed being cuddled.

 Abdoulie’s orange tree was doing well and his nephew Ousman climbed the tree and Abdoulie deftly caught the oranges  for us all to enjoy. If you haven’t had the blissful experience of Gambian oranges on a hot day, they are very juicy but full of pips and they are peeled with a knife and sliced in half. You then suck out the juice and feed the shells to the goats. Meanwhile Pippa had given sheets of paper and colouring pencils to all of the many children who had appeared. This amazingly produced a  ten minutes of peace as they all worked on drawing something for her. All the pictures were really good efforts and the children greatly enjoyed showing them to her.

Our final visit of the day was to Wandifa and Mariama’s compound which is not far from Abdoulie’s. It is a lovely area with some fantastic trees and a very calming atmosphere. We were surprised and pleased to see that the mango tree that was diseased last year had recovered completely. An even larger number of sponsored children arrived with reports and some with letters for their sponsors. Sponsorship monies were duly given out
Back to the hotel after a good relaxing day. Tomorrow will be different as we are intending to go upcountry to Soma to visit Pakalinding and Misera schools. This will be an early 6.00 start and a long day.

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