Friday, 13 April 2018

Keep going?

Yes, possibly, with reservations. The illness I mentioned in the last blog took weeks to clear up. We managed to rescue  half the money we'd paid out for travel, and that money we directed to Gambia to help with health and education, our two main interests. I don't think our travel insurance firm viewed our refund very kindly, they just added it on to our renewal premium, which gave us food for thought.
And the thought is: do we have to be in The Gambia to help Gambians?
It's a sad thought; maybe we don't have to be there? For each of the past twenty years we've spent time out there, wet season and dry, coast and inland, in the Capital and up-country. We've met wonderful people, desperate people, not many rich people. We've been met with smiles, invitations to share meals, jokes, stories and to swap views on cultures, politics, religions, gardening and a thousand other things.
The longer we've talked the smaller our differences have seemed and the greater our similarities have proved to be. Our desires for safe, good quality education and healthcare are universal; they life we wished for our daughter is much the same life they desire for their children.
We're not giving up. We will work on a smaller stage, probably just two schools and one village clinic. With modern communications we can receive a request for assistance in the morning, communicate with villagers at lunch time and send financial aid the same day, receive reports of outcomes the next morning, possibly.
Maybe, one day, we'll feel confident to travel again, to share a bowl of rice with Domada sauce, then relax under the shade of a mango tree, sipping ataya tea and watching the lizards chase through the roots of a baobab.
We miss you, my friends, we miss you.