25 November 2019


Sunday...family visiting

I had suggested to Andy that he might like to see the houses and meet the families of our Gambian team, so he had asked them if this would be OK. Of course they were delighted... so they all arrived this morning ready to take us to do some home visits.

First we had to go to Marouns, a local supermarket, as Andy wanted to take some small gifts for the wives and children.


Abdoulie's compound:

The first thing we saw was the new minibus...my first chance to see it up close. It looks very nice, I have to say... Abdoulie is so thrilled with it and has bought it a new steering wheel cover to celebrate! I have done my best with the photos...

 Pageant's new minibus
 a closer view
plenty of room in the back

Next to meet the family..so lovely to see them all and my, how the children have all grown! I sat and talked to the children, taking photos of all the sponsored ones as well as a couple requesting sponsorship. Meanwhile Abdoulie was asking Andy's advice regarding a new house he wants to build in the compound for him and his family...not only is his current one too small now, but a large hole appeared in its back wall during the rainy season.

I read Three Billygoats Gruff to the children while Andy and Abdoulie paced out possible room shapes and sizes. My great regret is that the favoured site for the house means that the wonderful orange tree will have to go.

Wandifa's compound:

More lovely family greetings...and many students to greet, photograph, and hear what they are doing. Wandifa has given space in his home to so many of our senior students, so that they can be nearer to their places of education, that his house is overflowing. He has had the brilliant idea of using some of the pallets that we sent out on the last container as bedbases on his veranda, so several students sleep out there.

His and Mariama's garden is doing very well...and the orange tree planted in Ian's memory has both grown hugely and turned out to be a lemon tree! Very fitting, as Ian always preferred lemons to oranges at half time...

Andy was shown round the house and congratulated Wandifa on it..a very good visit.

Yankuba's compound:

Here, of course, the star attraction was Karamo, the delightful baby boy born to Fatou and Yankuba nine months ago. He is amazingly active, bouncing up and down in the grasp of whoever is holding him and looking as though he will be walking at any moment. I should think he is quite a handful to look after... I asked Fatou if she is enjoying being a mum and she said 'Sometimes'!! Both she and Yankuba are looking very well...and at least Karamo is a good sleeper at night!

We met Abubacarr, a newly sponsored student, who achieved the perfect score of 6 in his Grade 9 exams and has now been able to go to Nusrat to study commerce because of his sponsorship from our Emergency fund. A very nice young man, who was delighted to receive a filled pencil case, geometry set and solar powered scientific calculator as his 'Welcome to Pageant' gift in addition to the first sponsorship payment.

Andy was shown round the compound and Yankuba made us a very welcome cup of coffee before we left to return to the hotel.

Three very different houses... I think Andy really enjoyed this opportunity to see something of Gambian home life and our guys were so happy to be able to show him some hospitality.

We returned to the hotel at about 2pm...the team had an appointment with the policeman who has been sorting out the paperwork for the minibus so we let them get on with that on their own...no need to muddy the waters with our presence.

I'm not sure what Andy did during the afternoon but I spent the time catching up on all the blog postings...and, hurray, I am now up to date!

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