Sunday, 22 January 2012

Procrastination ...

Being bone-idle by nature is a real blessing! I've had a nice lazy day, doing a bit of this and a bit of that ... Spending time looking out of the window at the clouds racing past, reading the papers, listening to some poetry on the radio. If Radio 4 didn't exist somebody would have to invent it. Sending messages on Facebook, a couple of chats on Skype. Must remember to call my daughter. My print-out of the latest book lies on my desk, daring me to start editing it. Tomorrow. No, not tomorrow. Have to go into town tomorrow. Tuesday? No. Something on on Tuesday. Can't remember what. Wednesday. Definitely Wednesday. I'll go to the library and work all day on Wednesday. My turn to cook. Fish? What's in the fridge? Fish, Sea-bass. What goes with Sea-bass? Onions? Potato? Herbs? Right: no problem. I'll just finish writing this then I'll put my feet up and rest for a few minutes then I'll go and cook. Back to GOES later in the week.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Mrs Dibba's school

This is a lovely new school in The Gambia. I had the good fortune to visit it and was delighted by the friendly welcome I received. It's a joy to meet such such friendly and polite children. Schools like this are of such a high standard that any English village would be lucky to have one!
Of course there's a snag - such schools have to depend on voluntary contributions to survive. If you are interested in helping, Mrs Dibba can let you know exactly what is required. Teachers have to be paid, uniforms and school meals provided, the school supplied and kept in good condition. This school has water laid on already but you may spot the odd length of cable dangling - power is not yet available - just a problem of finding the money ...
The staff are well trained and enthusiastic. There's a lovely, caring atmosphere in the school - I'd love my own daughter to have been given a start to her education there - pity she's a bit too old!
The sad thing is that only a small fraction of Gambian children are able to attend such a fine school - or any school, for that matter.
If you have the chance do go and see for yourselves. (The children will sing their welcome for you!)

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

What happens when we're back in England?
Well, first of all we stop to get our breath back! There's a house to look after, friends and relations to be visited, books to be written and work started to provide things needed for our next trip. We're supposed to be a couple of retired old-age pensioners but we've never been so busy in our lives. The aches and pains of old age slow us down a bit but GOES keeps us on our toes. We're often asked 'What do you get out of it?'
It's a fair question - why do we do it?
Well, apart from the joy of being able to help people the main benefit to us is that GOES brings us into contact with all manner of good people. Look at a newspaper or watch the TV news and you might think that the world is peopled with evil, narrow minded folk who only rejoice in the misfortunes of others.
We know that the world is not like that. We meet a constant stream of people who are good, tolerant and kind.
From the couple who emptied their wallets for us at the airport on our way home last time to the people who have supported us, with funding or goods, ever since we started GOES, we can say that people are good.
Yes, of course there are rogues - but they are in a tiny minority, both north and south of the Sahara.
Thank you to all our friends, here and there.