Re-entering the world after a trip to The Gambia has always been a problem for me. Living in the Third World, not as a tourist, even for a week, always has a profound effect on me and at the moment, although my body is here in Dumbarton, my soul and brain have still to catch up. They are still floating somewhere over the Sahara!
Our little school in Serrekunda needed a visit, really to sort out staffing problems. When you are totally responsible for a school, rather than just a sponsor, there are all sorts of employer/employee issues, and some of these can only be done in person. I had a busy and stressful week, but things are sorted, again, and after a plethora of meetings and informal discussions, I can see ways of taking the next step in development, and providing a larger more holistic model for the school and what we provide. Much work lies ahead, but it will be worth it for the children.
And all this is for the children. All ninety of them. Even after nine years, I continue to be shocked by the conditions they live in and the poverty which is accepted and endured with smile and song. We now have a new Principal Teacher who has great energy, lots of vision, a good track record, and excellent qualifications. That's a big help, but without our regular contributors, none of it would happen.
Leaving is always a drag! Below, a little film of my last minutes in the school before getting off to the airport. The words are simple: "Fadda Kenny Bye Bye!" Ignore the "tubab" in the striped shirt! He's just an old dreamer who is working hard for us out there! Thanks to him and the indefatigable Helen for all they do for Dumbarton London Corner Nursery!