Sunday, 10 March 2013

After covering almost 10,000 miles my placement is nearly at an end. Last month was my busiest yet. I managed to complete the LCM workshop in all clusters in the region, so I finally feel like I actually achieved something. It was good fun and all the teachers wanted more training. They all worked well and were co-facilitated by myself and the Cluster Trainers I had trained back in November. It was good to get out and do something that, hopefully, will actually make a difference to teachers’ practice in the classroom. Mind you they still turned up late and wanted to get away early, the fact that they got no money for being there as they usually do at trainings was a source of disappointment for some of them. It was only due to the schools paying a contribution for each of their teachers that they got any food at all.

 The workshops involved a lot of trekking round the region on my bike, one fall and several overnight stays, being hosted by some female teachers or in one particular case a very nice older lady in one of the villages. She had a huge bed, I swear it was bigger than a King-sized one. I laid myself down at one side, being sure not to take up much room and allowing her the remaining part to herself, the size of a normal double bed. However, she must have been very lonely as she cuddled up to me in the middle of the night... honestly, and then kept fanning me with her local fan. T’was very amusing! She was a lovely lady though and very hospitable to put up a complete stranger like that. That is what I will miss about The Gambia, the friendliness and the welcome they give to complete strangers. How many of us back home would notonly welcome complete strangers to stay but allow them to share our beds?  Not many of us.
Apart from that there has been a lack of power here in Basse. There has been no power here during the day for a couple of weeks and it's been coming on late in the evenings and going off about midnight rather than 2am. Also water gets switched off about 10am and comes back about 5pm, so all's good here in Basse!

 I will also miss the life that I have built up for myself here and all the friends I have made. Some of whom I will not be able to keep up with when I return due to lack of access to the internet or unable to write or phone. It is a great country and so little of the tourism that happens down at the coast makes its way up country. But delving a little deeper into the smallest country in Africa you will find hospitality abound and people ready to welcome you and make you part of their family for no other reason than they want to. There are so many other things that I will miss to mention, some I am sure I will not realise till I get home. One thing I will not miss is sharing my house with the mice that have now reappeared again and keeping wanting to run all over my mosquito net in the middle of the night! Try as I might and I try, I cannot seem to find where they hide themselves away during the day.

 In a couple of weeks I am off to Sierra Leone and from there I will travel overland through that country then onto Guinea and back to Basse for a week or so before coming home at the end of May, inshallah!

 Hope to see you all then. God bless and thank you for taking the time to read my blog over this last year.

1 comment:

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