March/April 2013

Travel report 22th march to 9th April


You know it already: who wants to go to The Gambia, you have to get up early! Silvia, Lucas and Lars started from Laupheim with the train, Gudrun and Roland from Storzingen Central Station. Although it look like that, we have traveled in the timber class!
18 days of stay, the editor of the website has put together a few days, may be, you have so more fun to read the complete travel report!



The train was on time, in Stuttgart the group was complete. Condor flew from Frankfurt via Cape Verde Islands, arrival in Banjul on time at 8 p.m. Dr. Gaye picked us up from the airport, because of all our baggage we had to hire a taxi. Straight to the Bakotu Hotel, since November, nothing has changed. About the "reception committee" Anja (Podologist/Pakala Clinic) and Arafang (Badjie, farmer and friend in Berending) we were very pleased!


The measuring days on 23/30th March and 6th April


Sister King, Eliman and Jim (all working in the Pakala Clinic) had organized everything, so that all the diabetics on insulin (Type 1) we know came to the measurements and trainings/education on the following saturdays. So we got up early for breakfast, packed up everything we need, including the long-term sugar reagents.
Shortly before 10 a.m. we were in the Pakala Clinic. As always, some were already there. Gudrun, together with Aminata and Jim, worked well in the laboratory. Measuring blood sugar, determine long-term glucose level, body weight, query the current insulin dose, and this we had never done before: micro albumine in the urine.
In the sidebar we have put together all with her/his prenames, we know.




The very first on this day was Aminata Jammeh. She has got also yet a laptop from us. She was instructed into the software "Accu-chek smart pix", and after that she was able to read out the saved datas from the individual blood sugar devices. Our group have focused on the diabetes training. Silvia was responsible for the distribution of the fare, the belt- and school bags, Lucas we owe the great pictures, and Lars was responsible for our food and drinks (but had no work that day with us).





Gudrun's birthday on the 24th March


This is sure: today it's Gudrun's birthday!
"Such a relaxing birthday I never had!" Gudrun said, but it was also "a little bit boring ..."
The day went leisurely, we went walking on the beautiful Kotu Beach, in the afternoon Susanne and Ibrahim came along. In the nice Lesoto Cafe we sat together and celebrated.





25th March, container arrival...


Now we must wait for the container! In the morning I called DB Schenker in Stuttgart, and i got the information, that our container arrived at 24th March, 6 p.m. in the port of Banjul. Alaghie Sanjang, Jammeh Foundation for Peace Hospital (a smaller, but well functioning public hospital in Serekunda/Bundung) had taken care of all the paperwork, and against 2 p.m. he called us: "the container is coming very very very soon" from the port. That was the case, with Alaghie and the container truck in tow we went to Manjai (not far from our hotel). The store for the material Mr. Kwamla Manly-Elliott organized perfectly (Banjul Oxygen Factory).
Baba, the friend and fisherman from Hilde and Sepp came with seven fellows to help us unloading, and from the vicinity of the store some people too. Baba had piled his bunch out there, Susannes goods for the family from Ibrahim came directly on the truck from Mr. Kwamla. The material for the clinic of Dr. Gaye we have left in the container, otherwise the store would be bursting at the seams!
The next days, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, we have toiled. Most things were spread so far, and on Easter Monday, 1th April, we had to take the remaining things into the Bakotu Hotel, because the store should be cleared up on this day.





Easter Sunday, 31th March



Today is was a day we could relax a little bit....





Easter Monday, 1th April


Kwamla Manly-Elliott helped us a lot with his van on Monday to clear the store in Manjai.
In the afternoon we had planned to go and visit Sirra and her family (the Jallow's) in Labak Oreh. We wanted to get an idea for ourself about the financial support of some helpful German's, and visit the new house of the family.
The drama: the sister from Sirra, Ramatoulie, she didn't feel well. Sirra had measured her blood sugar a few previously days, and it was "high". Our monitoring showed "high" too, that is more than 600mg! Despite Easter Monday we called Dr. Gaye, he has ordered 15 units of insulin, and Gudrun has helped Ramatoulie with her first insulin injection. Then we took and placed her in the Pakala Clinic.




We recall us: in November 2011 the roof of the old house was renovated through a private donation, and in November 2012 we were able to ascertain, that a corner of the house had occurred (see travel report November 2012). Much needed was money to repair it. Another monetary donation, for our thinking in the association much too high, and given for a other different purpose, the father Jallow prompted himself to demolish the entire house, to build a hut made of solid cement bricks. Well, they have been assured him, that he cannot get more donation, and this was a one time payment!
And this is the condition on 1th April 2013, and father Jallow can no longer continue to build. It lacks the sum of 1500€, for the roof structure, roof covering, the exterior and interior plastering, flooring, windows and doors.
The entire family, 10 people, now lives scattered in three neighboring houses, and waits on it, that somebody will help.





2th April



Again some "free time"... We decided to take a trip to a small national park in southwestern Senegal. So we got up early, because we wanted to take the first ferry from Banjul to Barra. Our guide Ebrima has organized everything well, at 7 a.m. we sat on the full packed device (the other two ferries were grade in the port of Banjul, and wait for a much-needed repair).
About 1.5 hours was the crossing, and we went in an open jeep through the savannah landscape to the 200 acres size to the National Park. As in the Gambia, there were no more big game. Nevertheless, some giraffes, buffaloes, antelopes, several zebras, rhinos and hippos stayed around the water hole, and a very impressive bird life was also here, our Silvia has a great eye for discovering many species of birds.
A nice relaxed day, in Barra we had to wait long for the ferry service. The risk of cross over on a banana peel, that we didn't accept! Getting to the boat, black workers would have to carry us piggyback into the boat!




Yes, it is: just around the corner from the harbor is the Pakala Clinic, and we have visited Sirra and Ramatoulie. Mother Jallow was now here also, and supplied the two supplied with food. In the "hospital per diem charge" the meals are not included.
Then we practiced measuring blood sugar, on Wednesday Ramatoulie went back home well supplied!





Lunch with Mama Gaye and Ngoneh-family


The invitation to have lunch with the mother of Dr. Gaye we gladly accepted. Almost anywhere else a such gambian food is cooked like here!
Then we went to Ngoneh with family just around the corner, everything seems to be ok, at least outwardly ... Ndey Fatou is married and lives in the compound next door with her ​​husband, her child "Roland" (we cannot find out the correct name...) is in July two years old.
Father Kutai is now almost blind, he has cataracts, and therefore he cannot work. So we have organized his surgery and paid for it in the eye clinic in Kanifing. On 11th April, he was initially successfully operated on one eye, the next is mid-May.





Arafang's farm


Today we wanted to get out to Arafang. On the way to him we have visited Petra, a friend of Christine. Petra lives alone in a house in the south, between Gunjur and Medina. We find the
is very brave.
The school supplies from Hilde and Sepp for the St. James Lower Basic School in Kitty (at Brikama) we have handed out to the Headmaster David Jatta, who also lives in Gunjur.



The useful things we had for Arafang in the containert, we had already brought him last week. He wanted to marry his pregnant Ramatoulie now on Easter Sunday "officially", but he has already told us, when we arrived in Gambia, that she was in the clinic with health problems, and the wedding is therefore postponed to our next visit.
The chicken coop is finished, inside running around 45 chickens, that he has to sell, after 7 weeks, each chicken weight is 2kg. Especially for us, one ended up in a cooking pot as "Chicken Yassa", personally plucked from Gudrun.
Ramatoulie went well now, and with her daughter Mariama both live with Arafang.
He now plans to grow a second coop to the existing one, for laying hens. But we have advised him once more, to build a second barn for rearing chickens, because he would have 50 chickens to sell with 1.2 kg every three weeks!
He harvests honey always, he has 7 liters at this time, but still the problem, that termites eat away his local and also our german beehives.





Anja Rollmann


Of course, Anja is still in The Gambia... She has now worked three and a half years for Dr. Gaye, and, in terms of wound care, many many successes. The writer of this page, Roland, knows very well, that the following pictures a viewer doesn't always like to look...
Nevertheless, on example of a treatment of a human beeing, you can convince, what is possible through knowledge and treatment!
Anja has finished her work in Pakala Clinic end of March 2013, she is currently in Germany. Much to our regret, and the patients there, and so certainly by Dr. Alieu Gaye, who has always appreciated her brilliant work.
In order to perform the work in The Gambia, we are urgently looking for a financial sponsor, which is continuously supporting the Anja-Rollmann-project!



Wound treatment

So, here you can convince yourself of what is possible ...
A request: if you don't want to look at these pictures, just scroll further. The first picture is a black cover sheet, then the following three frames are an example of a successful treatment of wounds of a person with diabetes.


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Jammeh Foundation for Peace Hospital


Alaghie Sanyang, who freed our container from the port, is working as a purchasing manager in the "Jammeh Foundation for Peace Hospital". He wanted to show us this clinic, we have enjoyed the guidance. A smaller, well-functioning hospital in Bundung (Serekunda), we have now supplied with Accu-chek active meter and test strips. Four different meters from different manufacturers were in use, and the supply of these strips deficient.





Visiting Amie Colley in Abuko


In between, we have visited from time to time families with diabetics, Muhammed Willan in Bundung, Adama Lowe in Ibu Town, Amie Colley, of course, and some others. This three ones you already know from the other travel reports.





Visiting the Manneh's in Brikama


The family of Ibrahim, Susanne supervices, we have visited in Brikama. Lamin's father died two years ago, the mother in autumn 2012. Ibrahim is now "breadwinner"!



Ibrahim has shown us, how difficult it is, to get out cashews of their shell! Incidentally, the red "preceding crop" is edible, and tastes great ...





We felt a bit sheepish about it....


Well, we had took in hand to provide Awa with a bed (she lives her life in a wheelchair, and the association supports her two daughters with school sponsorships). Said and done. It was not easy to find the small compound, she lives in Ibu Town, at the end of the road. First, we had to rearrange the bedroom, then we were able to build the bed frame. But, oh dear: the two slats did not fit in, they were too wide and too long. At least she has now 2 mattresses on the grate, and the bed base is folded back on the cupboard. Sorry, Awa!





7th and 8th April


While Silvia, Lucas and Lars did a two day trip to Georgetown, we had invited the delegation of the Young Gambian Diabetes Association to the Bakotu Hotel on Sunday. They wanted to revive the self-help group, founded three years ago, and we discussed a lot about it. Ultimately the group want to make visits in different families with diabetics, to look after the blood sugar values and the food they eat. Our association gave a financially support, and we'll see how it turns out!








Trip to Georgetown: Silvia, Lucas and Lars


Silvia has written about the two-day trip to Georgetown a few lines:
In time at 6:30 a.m. we startted our trip to Soma. There was waiting our first obstacle - the ferry to Farafenni. One of the 3 ferries failed for several weeks - or months? Correspondingly long was the snake, we must joining. True to the motto "Gambia - no problem", our guide found a way past the queue, and we could transfer with the next ferry. Our boat trip to the National Park "Baboon" was possible. A crocodile showed us itself, and two chimpanzee families cannot take themselves to marvel at their closest relatives. For the stone circles in Wassu we had still time, and after numerous "Bird Watchings" - stops (for Lucas and Lars too many ...) and some baboon hordes we reach the last ferry to Georgetown. The next day we went back, passing many rice fields and salt lakes, and we had a few stops to watch birds.




Well, I promised at the top, to present only the most important things on this page. There would still add up some things.... You or you as a reader it shouldn't supposed to be boring, and if you find it interesting, what we have experienced, then you travel simply with us!

Sincerely yours, Roland




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