The next visit to The Gambia is only a few weeks away. Insurance? Fixed! Flight? Booked! Accommodation? Probably arranged - won't be a problem! Packing? Ah. Well. Garden shed stuffed with goodies - thanks, everyone. But: no extra baggage allowance forthcoming yet. Thomas Cook usually very understanding, certainly have been in the past, but we seem to have drawn a blank this time. Can't afford to pay the £10 per kilo they suggested! I wonder if the new 'see-through' scanners at Manchester Airport will see through about 6 layers of clothing? We've been busy trying to enlist the support of M.S.F. to secure operations for a seriously ill child in one of the villages and we hope to have some positive news before we see him. He's being very brave but an operation which would be routine here just isn't available there.
The students we're sponsoring are all working hard. One girl, excluded from taking an exam because her fee had not been paid sneaked in and took the exam - very enterprising, Ami! We sent payment next day in reply to an urgent text message. Mobile 'phones are a life saver there - any to spare, please? We now know that BAYBA money transfer works as far up-country as Basse. This enables us to extend our almost immediate response to calls for help to people in even the most out-lying areas.
We have a very bright young student helping us with work on the web-site and newsletter. Time for Tom to attempt another appeal to Thomas Cook. Fingers crossed.