Wednesday, 21 May 2008


We think we now have the funds to ensure that Alhagie gets his operation. All we have to do is organise which clinic, which doctor, which country, how much exactly the bill will be ...
We use Bayba Express to transfer money. Pay the funds into the Bayba account in any branch of Barclay's, 'phone the Bayba office and obtain a code number, 'phone the recipient and the money is ready for collection the same day. It's worked very well so far (fingers crossed.)
Joyce's spell in hospital has rather taken our minds off The Gambia for a while but we're getting back on track and hope to have good news for you soon.
Meanwhile, if anybody would like to sponsor a student (or two or three!) please get in touch. should find us.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Escape to Wales!

We are escaping from the real world to spend the weekend in retreat. We're going to Hawarden, to stay in the Library W.E.Gladstone gave to the nation. Aside from wondering about the gifts Thatcher or Blair will donate, St. Deiniol's Library provides a huge collection of books, added to every year following the death of the founder. There are cosy study bedrooms, three meals a day, (wonderfull puddings!), great log fireplaces, an honesty system bar, at least three pubs in the village and most valued of all, peace and quiet.
Joyce has been trying to relax following her discharge from hospital. A mass of friends, English and Gambian, have been enquiring daily, flowers arrived, cards letters and emails.
Good things have happened. Alhagie, the boy with osteomyelitis, has been examined by a panel of doctors. The report has been passed to MRC, who have contacted overseas hospitals, and a third party, an experienced surgeon has expressed a willingness to conduct a series of three operations in a modern private hospital not far from the boy's home. If the parents agree this seems to be the best option, though people do have faith in operations performed outside the country.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Good news week!

Although neither Joyce nor I could make it to the awards ceremony for "The Cheshire Collection" anthology three of our writers, Celia, Polly and Chris ( drove down to London for the day to collect a prize for the best anthology published in support of a charity.
Many thanks to them for spending what seems to be a very tiring but rewarding day.
We also had a response to the appeal for help we published on Bantabar (a site for people looking for advice about The Gambia).
It seems that there is a youngster with the same condition as Alegie (osteomyelitis) in the next village - Lamin. Peggy, the lady who has been supporting him, has been most helpful with advice, 'phone numbers and costings. She has also provided a wheelchair which her boy no longer needs! Things are about to move - but there is a fly in the ointment! Ousman, our boy's big brother, has lost his phone. I was taking a replacement out for him but in the end I didn't go (see report below). So contact has been difficult. I sent Ous an email but he only reads his email when he has the money to go to the internet cafe ...
However, that's been solved by co-operation. I told Peggy the problem, Peggy told her driver, Lamin (from Lamin) to go to the village and tell Ousman to go to read his email and contact me so I can pass on the message about treatment for the boy. Easy. Gambian easy anyway!