05 February 2019


Tuesday 5 February

Pippa has decided, after talking with her family that she will return home as soon as possible. At the moment the insurance company are sorting out the details of her flight home.

She is obviously in some considerable pain but is continuing do as much Pageant work as she can from her hospital bed and in all the circumstances is remaining cheerful.

The rest of us are carrying on, as Pippa wants, with doing all we can, although Kathy is spending much of the day with Pippa in the hospital whilst Wandifa, Yankuba, Abdoulie and I are going out.
Saturday and Sunday are non-schools days so we spent much of the time visiting compounds and making sponsorship payments. We are always well received and have been given large amounts of freshly-picked fruit, including grapefruit, oranges and bananas. We have had two different types of grapefruit. Both were delicious and juicy. One tasted very similar to what we would get in the UK, but the other was more like an orange in size and as sweet as one. Quite different.

On Sunday the compounds included those of our friends and our sponsored and former-sponsored students. Yankuba is now married to Fatou, both former Pageant students and we went and chatted with them. On then to Abdoulie’s compound where we met his wife Aminata and three children, as well as many others from nearby. Abdoulie once again demonstrated his tree climbing skills to give us some delicious oranges from his tree. Our final compound visit of the day was to Wandifa’s where his wife Mariama gave us a delicious lunch of fish benachin. All his extended family were there and we spent some time chatting with all of them. We also had a look at some of the workshop equipment that Wandifa had been storing for us. Unfortunately some of it had been attacked by termites and had to be thrown away, but most of it was fine.

We returned to the hotel via the hospital to call in on Pippa.

We started Monday by going to Timbooktoo, The Gambia’s best bookshop, to buy amongst other things some school textbooks. Then a brief visit to a journalism college to look at details of a course one of the Pageant students would like to enrol in.

In April the solar powered hut project will be completed. We wanted to know which of the required items are available in The Gambia and which will need to be bought in the UK, so we visited two tool and electrical shops to investigate this.

We then dropped Kathy off at the hospital and the rest of us went out paying sponsorship. Back to the hospital for a meeting with Faks to discuss the solar project. Faks is the head of automotive engineering at GTTI. This was a lively discussion, especially as during it many people dropped in to visit Pippa. In fact many many people have been calling i to see Pippa during each day.

In the evening we met up with Linda for dinner.

I have to go out now and will publish some photos this evening.

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