Saturday, 27 September 2008

Keeping in touch.

I wish! I wish there was a simple, reliable and inexpensive way to keep in touch with friends in The Gambia. In some places, Bakau for instance, it's rarely a problem. In others, Lamin, Mandinari, Bansang and Wassu, it's a rare day 'phone calls get through. The postal service is erratic too. Sometimes a letter takes a week, sometimes it takes three months and sometimes ...
Oddly, the Gambian girl we help with her food bills in Kampala, much further away, receives our calls, texts and emails very successfully. We like to keep in touch with friends we've made out there although the customary answer to questions about a Gambian's health is "Fine!" even though you suspect they are on their death-bed!
Funds are coming in, not flooding but flowing nicely. Ebay is helping us to clear the shed and attic, raise funds and meet some great people. The Newsletter helps friends keep in touch and writing the Gambian novel keeps me out of mischief. 2008 maybe hasn't been a brilliant year for health for either of us but recoveries are being made as are plans for the future of GOES. Tom hopes to go out towards the end of the year. Keep you posted, people.
Any questions?

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Terry Waite at St. Deiniol's Library

We had the great good fortune to hear Terry Waite speak on Sunday Evening. His topic was "Hope" and he spoke, very simply, from the heart. He used some of Gladstone's words, such as
"I was myself brought up to believe that salvation depended absolutely upon the reception of a particular and very narrow creed. But long, long, have I cast those weeds behind me" and
"We look forward to the time when the power of love will replace the love of power ... Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right."
He spoke of his 1,763 days in captivity, torture, mock execution without rancour.
I'm not given to any religious persuasion and I feel that I have been left behind by modern politics but I felt very much at home listening to this man. Just as I feel at home in the company of my friends, such as those in the picture below.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Monday, 8 September 2008

What's Going On?

Sorry for the lack of news - we are awake and working! We have been sending aid to Bundung, Bakau and Mandinari. Our friends have received money for rice, school fees, text books and uniforms. One of our students has returned to complete her degree in Kampala, two more are starting at college to study I.T., another couple have received medical treatment and we are waiting to hear from a village school how we can help with repairs.
The income from friends, Gift Aid and the anthology has been invaluable. Tom is dithering about going out in the Autumn, having missed the April visit. Sometimes it seems that the money has a greater value than our presence, but it is nice to see friends!
We've also adopted 'easysearch" as our search engine. Each search using it instead of Google donates a tiny sum to GOES. It's quite easy to employ - search for 'easysearch', select Gambian Occasional Emergency Support from the second page of the drop-down menu and away you go! We've earned 9p already.
Our main operation is coping with emergencies but we are often asked to find sponsors for children. We can arrange this but please remember that it's an ongoing commitment for several years. Send us an email if you would like to become involved.
So, we have been busy after all! In our spare time (!) we are learning to ride a tandem, write poems and stories, and Tom is trying to complete the novel (about The Gambia, need you ask!)
Latest news letter is out now, please request a copy.
Best wishes,
Joyce & Tom.