W.15 Welcome to The Gambia

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Monday after a short night and a day of school assignments, lying on my bed at 4 pm. When I wake up 2 hours later, I see 5 missed calls, because I would go to my little namesake baby Daphne with a friend at 4:30 PM. (I notice that I am already quite Gambian in terms of times and appointments!) What do they live in miserable circumstances. A small cabin without electricity, 1 candle to light the warm dark loft, a leaky roof where the heavy rain comes through and often no food. The mother is deaf and dumb, the father ran away from home a few weeks ago and no one knows where he is. Unlike most Gambians, they do not live in a compound with other family members, so all the work, costs and care for the 6 children comes to Rose (baby Daphne's mother).

On Tuesday after the final assessment of my internship, I will go with Francis to Banjul to cross by Ferry to Barra. When we get off the ferry, with both a backpack on our back, we are stopped by the police with the message that we have to go to the police station. Surprised we walk along, they are looking for drug smugglers so our bags are turned inside out. I feel slightly uncomfortable when he throws my underwear on the table with his (dirty) hands and also the piles of money (5400.00 Dalasi) that I have in my bag, because I have just exchanged € 100. Luckily they haven't found any drugs in our bag, so we can go again, have a nice day and return home in the evening.

On Wednesday I will go to Ebotown with the tracking team. There's no pharmacist with me today, so I'll take care of the medication expenses. I am thoroughly enjoying my last week of work, because next week I'm going back to the Netherlands after a few days of vacation with my sister!

Friday at 2.30 am I finally see my dear sister again after 4 months! Wow, how wonderful to be reunited! The next day we go to Lamin with our friends for lunch. Very nice to show everything and introduce everyone! In the afternoon a visit to baby Daphne, in the evening Loïs and I cook and we have a nice dinner outside with Raymond and Francis.

This weekend we are at the clinic, Tuesday we go to the guesthouse. Initially we were supposed to come home on Monday 7 August, but because our flight has changed, we arrive on Tuesday 8 August. Not bad to be able to spend an extra day in The Gambia!

July 31, 2017


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