Countdown in progress; tickets, accommodation, insurance, packing. Packing? Not quite finished! Oh for a self-packing bag! Had hoped that Mr Thomas Cook would be as generous as he has been in the past, not this time. We've had to refuse some kind offers but rest assured, everything we have accepted to date will go out on this trip. Many thanks for the gifts of mobile 'phones and reading glasses: the gifts of simple medications will go to village clinics. After a somewhat bleak couple of months donations have been rolling in; a lady in Bulgaria gave a donation to Joyce, friends have been very generous, several local businesses have been very kind, our loyal standing order friends are also most appreciated. Gift Aid next April should equal or exceed this year's figure. We've been busy supplying bags of rice to hungry families but have drawn the line at providing sheep for slaughter at the festival of Tobaski. At up to a hundred pounds a time we have to draw the line somewhere! We'll be visiting Manneh the mosquito net maker in Banjul market again with an order. It's so much cheaper to have them made there, it provides employment to local people and puts money directly into the local community. (As compared with the efforts of an English 'charity' which pushed a plastic bag through our door last week. The idea was that we should give them good quality clothing which they would then sell to third world countries and the money raised would then be used to benefit people in this country!
Hope to have word about the web site soon, and lots of new photographs when I return to the UK just before Christmas.
Thanks to all of you for your help and support;
J & T