Last week I had to go to Kombos for our residence permits and a VSO meeting. What can I say about that, not sure the 11 hour trip there and the 10 hour trip back was worth it. Although catching up with all my intake of volunteers and the best pizza in The Gambia may have made it better!( By the way if you plan to come on holiday to The Gambia, the best pizza can be found at Paradiso’s in Senegambia!) My trip back involved hitting a donkey, several police check points (not unusual), everyone dismounting at one as the front passenger wasn’t wearing his seatbelt and the police wanting to charge the driver and fine him 1000Dalasi! Not to mention the 2 hour ferry crossing at Barra and another one at JJB! I was never as glad to get back to Basse, even with the hot. Mind you I got back to find the power had gone on the Monday evening, this was now Wednesday. Then the water went off. Welcome back! For those of you who are concerned, power (such as it is) has been restored and water is now flowing again!
Last Saturday was cup final day in Basse, Mansa Jang vs Security (army, police and immigration). Mansa Jang is the suburb where I live, so naturally my support lay with them. What a game, the captain of Mansa scored the first goal, the crowd erupted. A few minutes before half time security equalized. Nail biting stuff, Mansa Jang got a free kick and.......... GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Mansaju won the cup!! The crowd poured onto the field surrounding the players. Smiles all round at home. After the presentation, the cup was spirited away by a large crowd of supporters and taken through the street of Basse on its way to who knows where! I am informed that the cup did eventually end up at the house of the manager.
I have been getting out on my bike alot, visiting lots of schools and doing more observations. I am becoming an expert at finding these schools now and even finding short cuts through the bush to reach them rather than taking the highways. I really enjoy getting out and about and observing lessons. Everyone is really nice and some teachers are very receptive, whilst others are a bit unsure still. I hope the more they see me, they will take on board my comments. However, I have found 1 teacher whose class I really enjoy going to. He always has active lessons and is such as smiley, friendly chap. He never gets cross with the children and they all really respond to him.
Also, Sarah has returned to Basse this week. She’s the other VSO in Basse but has been down in the Kombos working on ECD workshops with another NGO. It’s nice to have her back and think she’s glad to be back too, even though its hot, hot, hot up here. The rains have also started. Thursday 3am with a bang! I literally thought the roof was about to come off. That was without thunder and lightning!
For those animal lovers among you, the donkey got up and walked away unharmed!!