As of today schools are set to go back on the 17th September. Fingers crossed they do, as I really want to get back visiting schools and actually doing what I am supposed to be doing. Since returning from Senegal I have been going to the office and trying to plan workshops for their return. The office staff have been and gone to Kombos and come back and as no schools are in there is not much for them to really do. The postings for the teachers are now out. Every summer, the Directors of each region meet to decide where teachers will be posted. A teacher can find themselves at one school one year and then in another the next. Sometimes these schools can be at other ends of the region. Even Head Teachers can be moved without warning. The only teachers who have any permanency in their postings seem to be the Cluster Trainers for FIOH and GATE. They have been displayed for all to see in the Education compound here in Basse, so there has been a steady stream of teachers coming to find out their fate.
A couple of weekends ago I went to Kombos to see off Sarah, my fellow Basse VSOer, who left to fly home. This time I decided to take the gelli rather than the sept plas. I decided it would be better as could not be bothered with the Barra ferry and all its travails. I was pleasantly surprised. I was there before noon, 5 ½ hours it took. For public transport on the south bank this is amazing – AMAZING! My return journey was not quite as good. Lilli, a volunteer with Tostan who had worked here for a year before being transferred to Kombos, came back with me. We got to the garage at 7am. We were thrown off the first gelli to make room for late coming ‘pre-booked’ passengers. The next one did not leave till 8.30am. By 2pm we were still not even half way. We eventually got to Basse at 7pm! Between breakdowns, passengers fainting and being taken to health centre, checkpoints where we all had to decant and untarmaced roads, it took us almost 12hours.
Basse is only about 400km from Kombos. Tomorrow I am going back down as the new volunteers are arriving, at least one of whom is being posted to Basse to work in agriculture. I am going to get the gelli again – mad I may be but at least I do not have to worry about getting the Barra Ferry!