November 2012



Travel report 9th to 17th


Shortly after 3 clock in the morning the alarm clock rings, the luggage is already in place. Shower, breakfast, remaining things in the case, leave of Gudrun - not easy yet, after a so different year. One hour drive to Echterdingen Airport, and the same discussions at the check in counter because of the luggage - 3 bags, so 150 €, because only one is allowed? I've booked at www.fluege.de, i sent two mails, automatic reply, but that was it ... excess baggage, at least 10 days before, 6x trying to reach German Wings, always busy tone on the phone ... Only Lufthansa has told me to do it at the airport. I went to pay, and the lady said, it's indeed a SN Brussels flight, the longest route, she refund me with 75 €! Let's see, what happens in my account.
At Brussels airport 5 hour stay, how boring, the flight was on time, to Freetown / Sierra Leone, then to Banjul / Yundum, arrival at 9:40 p.m., in Germany it is already 22:40. At the deboarding, a gentle breeze...Dr. Gaye picks me up and brings me to the Bakotu Hotel. Everything was great. SMS to my wife Gudrun works just great. The two students from Denmark, Dagmar and Sara, are in the hotel, just to welcome me, Anja and Arafang are waiting too.
After two beers I wiggle in my room, unpacking the luggage, because in the morning it goes to the Pakala Clinic to "our" proteges. I'm completely wet with sweat ... no wonder at 28 degrees and 95% humidity?


Saturday, 10th



Help me! Already the alarm clock is ringing, get up on 7.40 a.m. ("The Germans have the clock, the Africans time"), breakfast, pack up everything. Abdoulie, the driver of Dr. Alieu Gaye, picks us in time at 9.15 a.m., we drive to Pakala Clinic, the waiting area is filled. 25 people are here today for the laboratory measurements: body weight, current blood glucose and long-term glucose, then it goes over to Anja in the "old" Pakala Clinic, to make the tuning fork test, monofilament and Cold/Warm-sensibiltiy, and handed out the "fare", for each person 200 Dalasi. We worked up to 5 p.m.





Sunday, 11th



So that is not so boring for the two girls from Denmark, we decided to visit two families. Adama Lowe and Sira Jallow. Against 11 a.m., we take Abou, our taxi driver, go ahead. Adama comes with their bad values ​​not out of the hole, we measured with her 30 mmol / l, which again points out, that she don't injected her mealtime insulin for her breakfast. Then we practice maths on paper. One unit lowers blood glucose by 3 mmol, 30 minus 3 is 27, minus 3 is ..., and so on, until we end up with 6 mmol, and the sum of 8 units, she injected then. We stay there for two whole hours, and from Christine, her godmother from Germany, she got a letter. Nice family, her sister Awa has a baby now.
We continued our tour to Sira to Labak Oreh. She reported us to have problems with a wall from the house, which is always in a bad state. The heavy raining season have brought down a house wall. Her "diabetes equipment" (syringes, test strips, insulin) is in this plastic bag ... for the first, we sorted out. Again we tell her, she must inject and how often she should measure, a weakness with many diabetics, that makes me and us sometimes baffled!
Against 4 p.m. we make us to our way home.
Ibrahim still visits me in the hotel, and as Anja comes, we'll go to Hilde and Sepp the Cape Point Hotel in Bakau, we are invited to have dinner.





Monday, 12th



Restless it continues. Sara and Dagmar want to go to the clinic to make interviews with patients. Dr. Gaye makes a tour with us through the clinic. And for those interested in what Sara and Dagmar do in THe Gambia, here is the enlightenment.



Both remain in the clinic for the day. Over there, in the old Pakala Clinic, Nancy, Alieu's right hand, has her office, with the insulin refrigerator. With the insulin case it goes over, Nancy and me put the "our" insulin inside. I paid the school fees for Adama Lowe and Muhammed Willan from the years 2011 and 2012, then I wait for Salieu John, which organizes the World Diabetes Day. This is, as every year, supported by the association with 800 €.
My way went to Kwamla Manly-Elliott, he helped us a lot, more than just support, in all financial matters, for example, our sponsorships. He goes sometimes in the schools, to look after the "rights" that really helps us tremendously!
With him we drived to Muhammed, we picked him up to collect the promised bicycle. He takes pride in receiving it, he's so flat, that he cannot say even "thank you"? A look in his blood sugar meter to his values​​, an up and down 4-32 (!) mmol. We discuss everything again, and decide we have a daily phone call, 4 to 6 times.
Back at the hotel, Amadou Barry visited me, in the course of his studies he could go for 10 days to Norway. Amie Jobe, the daughter of Ngoneh, brings me with two of her friends a dinner to the hotel, "Chicken Yassa". I lie in bed at 9.30 p.m., 2 mosquitoes annoy me to 11.30, sometime they don't like me even longer, I don't like them too... - i take Malarone.





Tuesday, 13th



After a relaxing morning we three drove to Abuko to Amie Colley. Also she measures actually too little, but still she has a great long-term glucose value of 6.6. We stayed for lunch, this is always delicious. This time it was rice with Bonga fish.
On the way back we passed on Muhammed, who has given me diligently his blood glucose levels by phone calls. He was not at home, but his meter. I browsed the last two days in the memory, and behold: he dictated to me on the phone values ​​from 5.5 to 7.0, in memory but there are others ... aha, i think, trust is good, control is better. Anyway, he knows what good values are​​!! In the evening I clear this to him on the phone, and he solemnly promised me, to report only "right" values ​​...
After dinner with Hilde and Sepp I must cure my cold, Hilde supported me with Grippostad.





World Diabetes Day, 14th



Abdulie, the driver of Dr. Gaye arrived promptly at 9:30 a.m. to pick us up. Meeting point was TK MOTOS junction, on the Banjul-Serrekunda Highway, across from the Banjul Oxygen Factory. Almost all diabetics were there, a small band, a handful Toubabs. At about 10:30 a.m. we started the march pass with about 60 people. Anja, Arafang, Hilde, Sepp and Hardy (the filmmaker) was also there. On the parallel road of the main we went about two kilometers to Gamcell headquarters. The process is about the same every year, as usual, there were a few speeches, and this year I was able to give my speech. The conclusion made ​​Hon Mrs. Fatim Badjie, the health minister, she had prepared a really great diabetes-related speech! For all the supporters there were documents, and against 2 p.m. the meeting was resolved.





14th, afternoon


We returned then to the hotel, packed our things, we wanted to go to Arafang in Berending (in the south). With Abou, our taxi driver we initially went to Brikama, to pick Arafangs girlfriend Ramatouley with her daughter Maimuna. On the market we bought drinks, chicken legs, spices, butter, jam, sugar and coffee for breakfast. Against 5 p.m. we were at the farm from Arafang. He has built a giant chicken coop, but it's not ready yet. Ramatouley, Sara and Dagmar had prepared the dinner, we visited the garden, great, after the rainy season all is pretty green, but also overgrown. Much cassava, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, cucumbers and watermelons are growing, the orange trees too, three are already bearing fruit. The tree behind the house has grown huge, often gets the water from the kitchen. His main problem is still the water in the dry season from November (till the end of June), petrol costs now € 1.20 per liter.
The chicken with "peanut soup" with rice was delicious. Up at 0.30 a.m., we are perched on the fire, discussed all, and then slept well.





Thursday, 15th



We went back to the hotel 1 p.m., Samba, a wood carver from the nearby craft market, came, our association paid the school money for his son, because he is a leader. Ebrima, the wheelchair man, brought me the receipts from the education of his two children we support too. Awa, the wheelchair lady, she was waiting outside the hotel for me, also to hand out the documents. She probably knows now and understood what it's about. We want to help, but also check everything, so it must go the right way ...
I wanted to go to the Paradise restaurant to have a dinner, but Anja called me, her oldest brother died in Germany. i drove to her, and we sit together for long.





Friday, 16th



Wake up at 7.30 a.m., breakfast, organizing my day: a visit to Maimuna Bojang, and then Muhammed, after that to Aminata Jammeh. Maimuna's compound is great, she had malaria last week, so she had high values​​, values ​​are slightly better, she has now a Accu-chek active meter. She bought a coke for me, Maimuna is really ok, we talked a lot! Next to Muhammad, read his values​​, he's told me now the right values since his lies. I gave him 400 Dalasi for bicycle repairs. Next to Aminata, we talked about her education. School is half a year in 2013, starting in January with advanced education, then finished. On my way back i visited Hilde and Sepp, she has yet scalded her belly! Goes so far.





Saturday, 17th, the last day



Getting up at 7:30, texting with my sweetheart in Germany, she's waiting for me ... At 9.30 a.m. Abduley comes with Dr. Alieu Gaye, we went to the clinic today, another 20 people are invited to come to the measurements. The first ones are already there, we read out the blood sugar values, and what we saw, it very often the same: they forget to inject insulin in the morning or evening. HbA1c more than 14 ... Salieu John brought me the "proper" invitation for World Diabetes Day and a CD with pictures from that day, i paid for it (50 €, am I really crazy?). The last patient is Arfang, saved values without setted date and time, most between 25 and 30mmol / l ... Over to Anya, she made the test on the feet again. We went back to the Hotel with Sarah and Dagmar, who have done a few interviews. Anja wants to come, we went for dinner at Paradise. Once it was a bit cooler yesterday and day before, today is a sweltering heat! Packed my bags, i paid 250€ for the hotel and the safe.
Alieu came at 8.30 p.m., picked me to go to the airport, and home to my marble.







And honestly: i'm looking forward to a return visit in March / April 2013, and i hope, that many of you are accompaniing us!!
You can make us (or me) happy, if you write, how you find the reports. Too long, too little information, overweight, just right?

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