February 8, 2014

Everyone wants to meet us

Life Award 2013

26th January 2014

A much enjoyed lie-in this morning, breakfast at 8.30am (actually 9.10am in Gambia time).

01b10b99c5e4e124821594b6a025a11052507fbbffAnita came to collect us in the trucks after we had peanut rice for breakfast. We went to buy rice and glucose food and milk for the family we are going to see today. We then walk round the market then walk down to the ferry. The market has lots of produce and not one hassle.

The trucks were loaded onto the ferry and we walk and offer them. The engine is a cable from back to back and we passengers are the fuel. We all grab the cable and pull, eventually we move and then it is a matter of keeping moving. We are charged 75 D for the privilege!

The road to Raneru where we are to see a small boy (Edrissa) with encephalitis, an enlarged head, is very rough and dusty. Kebba the paediatric nurse knows the way and sometimes it seems the directions are ‘by the second tree on the left the right by the termite hill’. Raneru is very poor but the families keep their homes very clean and look after their children very well. Edrissa is about 4 or 5 and is totally paralysed which means that his family have to be with him all the time. Mark, Watson and I buy them two sacks of rice, a case each of milk, high glucose drinks and energy bicuits.

We spend time with them and are visited by lots of other villagers. Everyone wants to meet us and the kids love to shake hands and talk about football.

We call at Kebba’s village on the way back so he can check his mother’s blood pressure, which is fine. We then stop at the last village before the ferry to see another small boy.

On arrival at the ferry it is on the Bansang side so we have to wait until someone needs to cross to the North bank. After about 30 minutes a bus needs to cross and we get to go back to Bansang.

Once again we provide 5 minutes of aerobic exercise to get the ferry across the River Gambia.