The Diary of a Volunteer in The Gambia: Part 6

Jonny describes one day with our medical team that has worked relentlessly throughout Senegal and The Gambia. People for Change in collaboration with Diritti al Cuore have seen more than 900 kids with conditions ranging from malaria to worms to extreme diarrhoea

Adama’s Marvellous Medicine

“Midway through our trip and our car has decided that it wants a rest, and who could blame it? Covering umpteenth miles in the blistering heat; the majority of the time being pushed to it’s top speed by our friend and driver Adama.

Adama has been with us from the moment we arrived at the airport. He has the calmest manner and the biggest smile either side of the equator! Using a healthy mix of Wolof, French and Italian he finds a way of communicating with everyone he comes into contact with. He is the definition of respect.

This morning we find Adama under the bonnet of the Peugeot with a look of concern on his face – fear not, even with his head (and heart) worrying for his car he still sports a lavish smile! His engine tinkering is in vain outside, help will be required.

Push. Start. These two simple words now illicit an instant response from my sweat glands. Pushing a car is hard. Pushing a car with space for seven people is harder still. Add in the factors of the heat, an empty stomach, a hill, flip-flops and sweaty hands and you will begin to imagine our struggle. Eventually the ignition sparked and Adama set off for the local garage.

An afternoon with medical team is ahead. I’m feeling nervous and excited. It feels real. Our medical team, made up of Laura, Monica, Krizia, Bepi, Daniele and two doctors from Central Africa called Cedrec and Cyriac, are ready for action. There shift began early in the morning and this second stint runs from 2pm until sunset.

peopleforchangeThe Diary of a Volunteer in The Gambia: Part 6
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The Diary of a Volunteer in The Gambia: Part 4

Jonny is our wittiest volunteer and we love his humour. He brings smiles on everyone’s faces at any point. He tells us a touching story of his meeting with Gibbie in The Gambia.

Vision Beyond Struggle

“Today was a great day, truly great. I spent the morning with Musa Sey. Musa works with children with a range of needs across 30 schools in The Gambia. After chatting with him for months via WhatsApp, I finally met Musa yesterday. He invited me to visit one of the children he works with, Gibbie Bah.

I woke up to the sound of a motorbike – this was a surprise! Musa told me he would be here first thing in the morning. Up to this point, being told someone would do something at a set time was seldom linked to the actual time it happened (“Gambia Time” is the affectionate term for this tendency towards delay). So I donned my crash helmet and hopped on, the taste of toothpaste offering a slither of freshness in this relentless sun.

Thankful for the breeze – and clinging on for dear life- we took the 20 minute drive to Kaur Senior Secondary School. I was greeted by some healthy looking goats and a donkey who looked far too warm for comfort. Our entrance was complete by off-roading through the school gates.

peopleforchangeThe Diary of a Volunteer in The Gambia: Part 4
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