Thursday, 29 January 2015

New e-book to help GOES!

Just published on Amazon Kindle e-books!
Story's End, the last in the Malinding village series about life in a fictional Gambian village.
Priced at £2 or $3, all income from the sale of this book (and all others in the series) is paid directly into the GambiaGOES bank account.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Just bits of paper?

While we were in Banjul just before Christmas we visited the teaching hospital*  there to hand over medical equipment donated by the Forge Medical Centre in our village at home. Fatou, the PPS, mentioned that they desperately needed paper for their ECG machine and we agreed to try to help.
After a bit of Googling we found a firm able to supply just what we needed and they (thanks, Gillian at Medisave) posted a sample pack which is now on its way to Banjul. As soon as Fatou confirms that it is exactly what their machine uses we'll send a further supply.

*The hospital used to be known as the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital but is now know as the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital.

Monday, 19 January 2015


We would like to acknowledge and thank the people and organisations which have assisted GOES to offer help to Gambians in need. They are, in no particular order;
  • friends, neighbours and family
  • members of Vale Royal Writers' Group and Liverpool Dead Good Poets
  • The Forge Medical Centre, Stockton Heath
  • Brown's Chemist, Stockton Heath
  • Boots Opticians and Blackpool Salvation Army for the donation of hundreds of pairs of reading glasses
  • Juicy Bikes of Buxton, for the donation of cycling accessories which we sold to raise funds for a clinic
  • Superdrug, Warrington
  • Gladstone's Library, Hawarden
  • Thomas Cook, Warrington
  • everybody who has bought a copy of any of the Malinding series of Kindle books
  • Badala Park Hotel, Kotu
  • Keluntang, our local agent, Amadou, our driver, and all our other Gambian friends.
Thank you all: we're getting a little long in the tooth but, with your help, we'll keep going as long as we can!
Best wishes to all of you - may 2015 bring you good health, long life and happiness.
Tom & Joyce

Friday, 16 January 2015

Mr Micawber was right!

If I remember my Dickens' novels Mr Micawber* was the chap who believed that something, probably good, would turn up. People who run charities, especially the small variety, tend to have great faith that something good will eventually happen. It generally does.
I was banging on last week about the vast majority of people being good, honest, trustworthy and caring. It seems that one of our Gambian friends was very ill last week and had to be admitted to hospital. It was a schoolgirl, daughter of a neighbour, who decided to inform us and ask for help. She sent us a text message in her very best English, gave details very clearly, collected the money from the Exchange office (first time she'd done it), took the money to the lady, paid the bills for X-rays, went to the dispensary with the prescription, paid for that and finally found a taxi to take the patient home. Not bad for a twelve year old.  I had suggested that the girl keep any change but she spent it on food for the family.
 We simply provided the means for this young lady to do good. We might have been ripped off, cheated, been conned. But we weren't. She trusted us to help, we trusted her to behave honestly. It works. She's from a different culture, a different religion: differences don't matter. The similarities are what count. I wish we could help everyone who asks - we can't. We can only hope, like Wilkins Micawber, that something will turn up - and it often does. Happy New Year. Remember, differences don't count - similarities do!

*A character in 'David Copperfield', 1850.

P.S. You might like to help by buying one (or more!) of the Malinding series of e-books. They are about life in an imaginary Gambian village. All proceeds from sales goes directly to GOES bank account and from there out to The Gambia to help people in need. Thank you.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Je suis Charlie ?

All religions/faiths/beliefs have their share of extremists/fanatics/thugs looking for an excuse to behave violently.
All religions/faiths/beliefs have their share of wonderful, loving, caring people who seek only to help their fellow human beings in any way they can.
Fortunately, the good people outnumber the evil ones ten million to one, or more.
Sadly, the good people rarely appear in the headlines.
I was born into a Christian family and attended a Christian school and college. I was amazed and dismayed when I encountered people who called themselves Christians but were intolerant of people who did not share their extremist views.
Rarely, if ever, is violence prescribed in Sacred Writings. Feed the poor, care for the sick and elderly, help the stranger - respect one another. We can only continue to set an example in our own lives: it can be very difficult. Sadly, it seems impossible to reason with the blinkered folk who believe that they are right, and are willing to murder men, women and children who disagree with them.
Our gentle friends in West Africa have fed us, shared their last cup of rice with us, trusted us with their children, cared for us when we have been sick, chatted to us about their beliefs and questioned us about ours. Never once have we felt threatened. They have earned our love and respect: I hope we have earned theirs.
Je suis Charlie?

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Free Ebook

Empty Bananas, the first book in the Malinding series of tales about life in a Gambian village, is on free offer from Amazon Kindle books until 5/1/2015 as a thank you to all readers of this blog. You don't need a Kindle device, just the free Kindle app which enables you to read thousands of Ebooks on you laptop or PC.
If you enjoy the read please leave feedback on Amazon to say so!
Happy New Year!
Best wishes,