"The darker side of life in The Gambia was brought home to me on my second trip. An elderly man who had been collecting fruit from a tall tree with the aim of selling the fruit to buy a cup of rice to feed his family, fell to his death a few feet from where I was standing. Our efforts to save him failed. He had been warned that the tree was unsafe, but he ignored the warning. The taxi I was using for the day was commandeered to take his body to the mortuary, and later that same day he was buried. Many people live a hand-to-mouth existence. Things we Westerners take for granted such as education, healthcare, clean water and support in time of hardship, are simply not available to many other people. At the time of this accident I was on my way to Mandinari village, where I was providing an English Language course for the school staff. I found on the first day that I was offered food and shelter for the duration of my stay. Setting up GOES to offer a little support was the least I could do."
Post this message I still feel the shock I felt that day, when a man, about my age, died simply from trying to feed his family.
Thanks for reading this,