W.12 Caught!

After leaving sunny Lamin last Sunday, we arrived in Bakou half an hour later to enjoy the pool. We are less than 5 minutes in the water when the storm breaks. Heavy rain and thunder, but the temperature remains high. Oh well, if you do get wet you better keep having fun in the pool. Volleyball, lummetje and swimming lessons give to my 3 new friends (13 years old). Then eat out as a nice ending to the weekend.

AAAAAHHH STOP IT! STOP IT !! Curiously I sneak into the dressing room on Monday to see where the deafening screams come from. A twelve-year-old boy is lying on the treatment table with a bloodied knee. He has a deep cut that my colleague is attaching. The moment I want to leave the room, so that I no longer have to watch the suffering, my Gambian colleague asks if I want to attach. I have never attached before, but after a short explanation I venture to this interesting challenge. Although it is a bit difficult at the beginning to pierce with such a blunt needle through such a stiff thick skin, I still get the hang of it later and, despite the heartbreaking screaming of my victim, it is still a nice educational experience. In the evening, deliciously de-stressed by running for over an hour with my colleague B-boy.

Tuesday I go to the Babylonschool to give 250 children a preventive worm cure (Albendazol). Class by class they stand in line outside, I put 2 tablets per child in the mouth, after which they get a drink of water from Haddy (social worker) (scooped out of a bucket)

Wednesday we go with the tracking team to Ebotown. After I have given the thousands of ants that run through the entire building a wonderful ant poison shower, we are ready to return to the LHC at 14:00. If we want to drive away, the Landrover's front tire sinks deep into the ground, forcing us to push hard to get off. Fortunately, dozens of children come to our rescue, so we drive again 10 minutes later. In the afternoon over 1.5 hours of running with Francis, both too stubborn to admit, we run at a fast pace without even stopping, sprinting in between. Completely worn out and with terrible muscle pain, I go to bed early that night.

Thursday I give the second lesson of the diabetes clinic. This time it is about diets and healthy eating. Although only 1 of the 8 visitors really has diabetes, I still have a nice audience who also ask interested questions. When I come upstairs I catch our suspicious cleaning lady on a (new) attempt to steal. Unfortunately, this means the end of her cleaning career in the LHC. At 1 pm we have clinical lessons from one of the Dutch doctors. In the afternoon we go to the name ceremony of the sweet baby Daphne. Despite being a terribly poor family, they have rented chairs and a sound system and we are served a huge bowl of rice with a large piece of chicken. Lovely with my namesake in my arms, dance, music and fun. From 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Francis and I attend the Church Bible study we attended last week. Very fun and interesting.

Friday is quiet in the clinic, so my colleague Ida asks if I want to give her a massage. I am somewhat surprised when she takes off her jacket and lies down on the floor. I mean a Gambian massage. Okay then, after a lot of laughter and 10 times if she is sure, I stand with my full weight on top of her back. Balancing and wondering if her back won't break in half, it ends after 2 minutes because patients come in. In the afternoon to the tailor, the supermarket and past our friends in Lamin. In the evening we eat with all Dutch doctors and interns at Machteld. Delicious Chicken Yassa (rice dish with chicken) that is eaten in a Gambian style, all sitting around the bowl with your hands.

Saturday we go, after a good night's sleep, to the beach in Bakou. After half an hour of swimming we are ravaged by terrible rain, storm, thunder and lightning. The strong wind makes the rain feel like hailstones on our bare skin. Quickly we run to a hotel for shelter, more than an hour later, when the rain is a bit less heavy, we walk back to the main road to find transport. Fortunately, as a white person, you never have to wait long when you try to hitchhike, because the whole street is full of people trying to find transport.

Sunday morning I go to church with Francis. Since the service was canceled last week and Pastor Jackson is still in South Korea, I deliver the sermon this morning. Wonderful to be able to speak about God's word, to make people enthusiastic about Jesus and to see how everyone listens fascinated. When the service ends, we are just in time to attend the service of the Disciple Ministry Church (last week's church). Back home around 1 pm, have lunch, then hitchhike with Laila to Senegambia. After a nice tourist route we arrive at 4 pm at the Senegambia Beach Hotel, where we want to spend the afternoon poolside. When we settle on a beach bed, despite our confident walk, we are still caught not being hotel guests. Too bad, unfortunately, no pool for us poor students, but a lot of fun. We quickly flee to our regular beach tent PocoLoco, where we spend a pleasant afternoon on the beach.

July 9, 2017


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