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Pippa's Gambian trip, 15-29 November 2005

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21 November - Schools on the North Bank >>

Sunday 20 November - Sinchu Baliya

Sunday morning was spent in almost complete idleness, apart from sorting out some of the gifts to take on visits and taking photos of a little girl who is requesting sponsorship for her schooling.

In the afternoon we took a fairly long taxi ride to visit the home compound of Omar Janneh, the Science Co-ordinator of Sinchu Baliya School. He and his wife Fatou have named their baby daughter 'Pippa', and we had been invited to the family home to see her for the first time. Omar and Fatou have five children altogether 2 boys and 2 girls plus baby Pippa and we were looking forward to meeting the family. As is the Gambian custom, it was not only the family that we found waiting to greet us, but a large number of neighbours and friends from the surrounding area. It is the harvesting time for the peanuts, so many of the women were shelling the nuts while they sat and chatted they were happy that the crop has been a good one this year.

the gathering

Fatou

the gathering

Fatou

Omar with baby Pippa

Fatou with baby Pippa on her back in the traditional manner

more family & friends 1

Omar with baby Pippa

Fatou with baby Pippa on her back in the traditional manner

more family & friends

women shelling peanuts

more family & friends 2

the women shelling peanuts

more family & friends

We had taken some family gifts and also a large batch of the 'Harvest Festival' seeds for the village women to use in their vegetable gardens they were all very happy about this, and about the money for tools, which started an animated discussion as to what would be most needed.

When we left the family, Omar came part of the way to show us his orchard in which he hopes to build his own compound the one we had visited belongs to his wife's family. The orchard is a beautiful plot, with a number of well-established mango trees, several other fruiting trees and a well, but it is obviously a very long-term project.

Omar's orchard 1

Omar's orchard 2

Omar's orchard

When we got back to the hotel we found that our 'seed banner' that we had made from a selection of seed packets and some cling-film had become rather battered due to over-enthusiastic handling during photographic sessions. Having tried several remedies without success, Sandra had the brilliant idea that the application of some heat would make the cling-film stick again. She then spent some time solemnly ironing the whole thing on the floor of our room the things one does on Gambian holidays.....

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21 November - Schools on the North Bank >>

 

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