Christmas 2017 didn't quite turn out as planned. We had planned to join Val & Richard on Christmas Day and be spoiled rotten, be lazy, eat cake and mince pies and relax. I hadn't planned to be ill, to stay at home, 130 miles away from that lovely Christmas Dinner, with only a small cheese sandwich for lunch. Still, it made a change, and think of all the petrol we saved. And I broke a tooth when I tried to substitute a biscuit for that far-away Christmas pudding. Still, lots of time for reflection and planning.
One result of the reflecting was the thought that Gambia is no place to be ill. We've been lucky so far, travelled extensively without suffering much worse than a broken finger nail and some interesting variations of Banjul Belly.
But. Joint age of 160 gives a hint that we aren't getting younger and the realisation that a sub-Saharan remote village probably isn't the best place to be poorly. The cost of the travel insurance backs that supposition.
So we cancelled our January visit. Cowardice? Possibly. Probably. And how to manage GOES if we don't go? In the short term we're lucky that our small team of helpers have proved supportive, honest and wise. We certainly can hang on till the end of the financial year when we can claim Gift Aid and feed it back to the schools and clinics we help. Beyond that point we can't yet see.
Again, many thanks to family and friends, and VRWG, for years of encouragement and support. Perhaps time to find another cause to champion?
As a totally inadequate 'thank you' I've arranged that most of the Malinding Village series of ebooks will be on free offer for the next few days.