Friday, 28 September 2007

Sorting Lamin out

Long phone calls and emails to Lamin, the young man we are supporting while he studies at Lodz Uni in Poland. Trying to transfer some zloty to his account so he can show the authorities that he is not destitute and so receive a 12 month visa, then he can enrol on the study course he has already paid for ...
How many zloty to the pound - is it better to change sterling here or there - what does it cost?
Spend yesterday on the net and this morning at the Carers' Centre, filling in a DLA claim for a lovely couple. How people can remain cheerful in such dreadful circumstance both humbles and heartens me.
Must say that the Co-op bank has turned up trumps with advice and patience. Settle down with a coffee and a plate of biscuits and indulge in a little problem solving.
I've booked a flight to The Gambia for a couple of weeks in November/December. Can't afford an hotel but several Gambian friends have offered a bed and meals. Come to think, they offered the same when I was a complete stranger. They still offer and I'm happy to accept. Home is a mud brick house, bed is a mat on the floor, food is rice, rice, rice. There's lots of fun, bags of laughter and good company. We're a rich nation but we have lost so many things that really make a wonderful quality of life.
Trying to find out if Ibo has attempted to enter Europe. There are so many dangers but West Africans, desperate for work, will risk their lives in flimsy boats, trust their life to complete con-men, exercise outstanding effort and courage to undertake a journey which so often results in death, disaster or arrest. We take education, health care, good housing and all the rest of it for granted. These young men risk their lives for a slight chance to gain one tenth what we take for granted.
So that's the reason for G.O.E.S. We try to help a little, sponsor a child, care for a young mother's health, take out medical supplies, a few books, repair a house or two. And still feel guilty.

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