Day 2

Our third day in Gunjur and everyone is in good spirits. We had a big Gambian breakfast of beans/lentils/ omelette/ pancakes with delicious hibiscus jam and local honey. By 9 am were ready for the trip to the Kulakuchi Nursery School, with 4 levels 1, 1a, 2 and 3. The head Mr Bojang has been at the school for nearly 18 years and has developed its numbers from 24 to 136. It had a lovely warm feeling. We first heard wonderful singing before we entered the school then a clapping song as soon as we arrived. Children then rushed to the playground for break. There was much excitement when they saw us and lots of crowding around and holding hands.

We split into 2 groups and enjoyed the challenge of entertaining a first year 4-5 year olds ( say 30 children) who had very basic English, if any. We planned fun games, colouring and reading. The other group took a year 3 class about 30 children aged 6 year which was a mixed class of abilities and needs. We introduced The Hungry Caterpillar. This was a chaotic hour of counting, colours and colouring in, using felt tip pens from UK and bits of paper enthusiastically.

Comments are:
What did you think of the head teacher, Mr Bojang? He had fun glasses!
It’s a lot different to UK primary schools, children don’t swarm around the teacher there!
The children were more interested in seeing the pictures than hearing what I was reading.

We absolutely loved the sessions at the school and headed, reluctantly back to Gunjur Project Lodge ( GPL) for lunch, soup/ salad/ toasted sandwich/ chips/ rice. The Gambian partners joined us and had a rice dish, completely different to ours. Time was spend playing cards and football. The Gambia versus England was a triumph for The Gambia. The girls kicked the ball around in their beautiful dresses while the English over heated. We held a group chat where some of the Gambians found the courage to ask questions about British Culture. The teacher who accompanied the group was keen that the girls spoke up. We learnt so much from the teacher about schooling.

Time was spent after the partners’ departure cooing off in the pool. Supper was a super spread of spaghetti bolognaise, fish Yassa and fruit crumble. Day three concluded with a gentle and relaxing live kora entertainment plus fire pit. A great day had by all and we headed to an early bed , cooling down and listening to the cicadas.

I can’t believe you leave home at 18 years old.’