Monday, 27 October 2014

A day in the life of ...

... an old volunteer man!
Wednesday of last week we received a call for help from the family of a very poorly lady. Bus into town, draw the money, take it to B's Bank and pay it into the Bayba a/c. Or so I thought! Usually pay in over the counter to a human. This time, bank very busy so I decided to use the 'quick deposit' technology. Old man + new technology = dog's breakfast. Sure I'd done the right thing and I'm back on the bus for home. Call Bayba in UK, they accept the transfer, give me the transaction number which I text to the family of the poorly lady. They try a couple of times to collect from the local office in The Gambia but without success. Transaction number fine but money hasn't arrived. Spend most of Friday and Monday morning on the 'phone without being any wiser so this afternoon into town again and into the bank, where a lovely lady (L) sorts it all out without calling me names! Money paid directly to Bayba and collection arranged for tomorrow morning.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sorting scissors ...

Just a normal Sunday - cycle to the paper shop, buy paper, remember to pick up some yoghurt, cycle home, read paper.
 Remember a sack full  of medical equipment that needs sorting. How many types of scissor-like things can there be? Tip them out onto the bed and start 'sorting'. No two of the blessed things are the same. Some are a bit the same, or look it. But they're not! Some cut things but have different blades or handles. Some clamp together but don't cut. Some .... I give up! Consulted Google and tried to match 'scissors' to pictures. Probably not a good idea - pictures are labelled 'Kelly' or 'Hu-Friedly' or 'Venous' or 'Needle drivers' or 'Adso Tissue' or 'Hemeostatic' or ....
 Give up! Wrap them all up in clean cloth, pop them into Ziploc bags and into the first suitcase. Ten kg of shiny scissors. People in the clinics and hospitals in The Gambia will know exactly what they are for.
 There's another sack full of stainless steel things. I'll leave that till tomorrow!
Sold four 'Malinding' books yesterday - thanks to the buyers! Money goes straight from Amazon into the GOES bank account, where it won't stay for long!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Going to The Gambia!

Well, we hope we'll be going, and if we are, these are some of the things we've been given to take with us! As you see, mostly medical equipment for the clinics we support. Scary looking stuff some of it is!

The last picture is the usual shot of the spare bed - mainly a few reference books, children's clothing and bags and bags full of reading glasses! We usually manage to take out a few bits and pieces for ourselves - a change of clothes, that sort of thing; sadly, Thomas Cook haven't managed to extend our baggage allowance this year so if we want spare clothes we'll have to wear them on the journey out!
All in a good cause.
Best wishes to all of you,

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Never rains but it pours!

Good things are raining down - please stop! We don't often ask people to stop giving, and if you're one of the people who have already promised us things we don't mean you! Our lovely friendly pharmacist, who has been advising us for years, is helping with our preparations for equipping the clinic with stacks of latex gloves and hand wash lotions. Our local medical centre called me in today, and after a brief moment of confusion at reception (they don't often come across people who don't want treatment ...) we were presented with stacks of stainless-steel instruments which will assist in gynaecological procedures - looks scary to me! I also called at our local Salvation Army centre to collect a gift of reading glasses organised by Stuart. They must be there somewhere so I'll call again when they come to light!
People are so good and kind. Fingers crossed the Ebola is soon under control; too many lovely people have died already. I don't understand why people have to go to war against one another when there's a war against poverty and disease waiting to be won.