Saturday, 16 February 2008

More Gambian friends.

Ras-Bai, on the left, has been a friend for years. Tom originally met him while running on the beach at Bakau. Ras never asked for money, wrote a good letter and looked hard for work. He's now a trainee cook at a good local hotel. He accepted GOES aid this time to save a tooth. We paid for a filling and saved Ras his nice smile! The other young man is a talented local artist, working to commissions. Make sure you agree the price before he starts work! Joyce models the 'GOES' T-shirts!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Talented helpers

We're just so lucky to have help from the writers. They created the poetry & prose anthology, organised its publication and publicity - and agreed to donate all profits to G.O.E.S.
The latest kindness is to design posters for display in our local branch of Borders (bookshop) where the 'Cheshire Collection' is on display. Fifty more copies have been printed and of those twenty are in the shop for sale. Come and buy!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Fingers crossed again.

Good news about the boy with the bad leg. Ousman, his brother, has at last obtained a copy of the boy's medical report. He has copied it and posted it to me so I can obtain some advice here. The doctor has brought forward his next examination of the leg with a view to setting an early date for an operation. The anti-biotics and supply of clean water, towels and bandages have eased the pain and the boy has managed to sit and watch his friends play football. He is no longer crying with pain every night. So - fingers crossed for a speedy good outcome. Thanks to so many people who have contributed to G.O.E.S. Even a few words of encouragement ment a lot when we seem to be getting nowhere! When I retrieved my car from its MOT and service yesterday I found a box of bandages on the back seat which hadn't been there the day before!
Ami. Musa, Isatou and N'dey have had their school examination fees paid. Ous has a new battery for his car and can start work driving a taxi again. Baby Sega has money for medical treatment. Awa has wages for three months as a teacher. Yusupha has received help with his college fees. The small children of Gaye Kunda in Bundung have new clothing, the wives of N'fally have wind-up torches - thanks from them to you for all your kindness to strangers.
If you are thinking of a holiday in The Gambia we can arrange for you to meet the people you have helped!

Monday, 11 February 2008

First friend.

N'fally, with his youngest son. N'fally is my first Gambian friend. He lives very simply. He and his family have been very supportive, giving food, a roof over my head and endless conversation.
My thoughts of The Gambia focus on sitting in his compound, gazing at the night sky, putting the world to rights and discovering the many similarities between us and our philosophy of life.
I also have to endure his very dry sense of humour and practical jokes!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Busy day!

Communications with the village were excellent today so made the most of it! Spoke to Ousman, big brother of the boy with the bad leg, and congratulated him on the work he's doing. He has obtained two towels for the boy's exclusive use, some antiseptic cream and a further supply of antibiotics (he lets us have receipts for the money he spends). He will travel again to Banjul hospital tomorrow, collect the medical report, show it to Gibril (the haematologist) and pass it on to us.
I also managed speak to the doctor and reassure him of our continued interest and support.
Then, this afternoon, we visited our local Borders bookshop. The lovely lady we spoke to took twenty copies of the VRWG anthology, asked for a G.O.E.S. collecting box and offered to put on a display about the work of the charity.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Help! Contact us!

A friend has pointed out that we haven't posted any contact details yet - you be longing to help or find out more?

should do the trick.

We promise that all donations go complete and direct to the people we help. We cover all admin costs, transfer expenses, 'phone calls and so on.
Thanks for your interest.
A pound G.O.E.S. a long way in The Gambia! (Slogan from the same friend!)

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Home again

Title's a bit misleading - The Gambia is like a second home. Good news waiting on the mat: after deliberating for four months HM Revenue & Customs have decided that G.O.E.S. is a worthy cause and declared that we are a charity for tax purposes and can claim Gift Aid payments.

Some progress with our boy with the bad leg. Went with him to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Banjul and managed to speak with the doctor supervising his case. It seems that there is a team of Cuban medics in Banjul at the moment, one of whom is qualified to conduct the required operation (a bone graft). The problem is to find a place on the list for our young friend. Probably an incentive of some kind is required. The boy's brother went to the hospital to buy the report on the boy's latest examination last Friday. The clerk who was charged with copying this had not reported for work that day and nobody had the password for her PC. She'd already had ten days to do the work and knew it when was to be collected ...