Sunday, 6 April 2014

31.3.14 Monday. Oh what a circus!

Gordon and family were spending the morning in the school, meeting the pupils and teachers, some of whom were not there on their last visit.  We had promised to take Sambas wife to the hospital in Farafenni this morning.  When we visited Ousman’s family yesterday Fatou also needed to go to the hospital and so we set off with Omar driving to Farato to collect Fatou.  On arrival she was almost ready changing into her best outfit, and I asked her sister in law to come with us to translate, but she explained that the other sister in law and the baby were coming with us as she was not feeling well.  We set off for Loumen and then collected another lady waiting for us on the road who was also going to the hospital in Farafenni.  By the time we reached Loumen to collect Mrs Samba, we had 3 ladies and a baby in the back of the minibus.  Mrs Samba was ready, also in her best outfit, Samba came along to translate and so it was with a full minibus that we made our way to the large hospital in Farafenni.  On arrival at the hospital Mr Cham, a friend of ours, was waiting for us and escorted Fatou, Samba and Mrs Samba to the correct area for their examinations.  We didn’t have long to wait for the doctor who was completing his ward rounds.  There are several doctors here from Cuba who have come to offer technical assistance and training at the hospital.  The rooms were very clean and both Fatou and Mrs Samba were examined by a Cuban gentleman.  Fatou was sent for tests, whilst Samba’s wife was sent back out to us with a letter and instructions to return after she has had her baby, not the outcome we wanted as she really could do with an operation. We made our way to the pharmacy for the prescriptions to be filled and then waited for Fatou and her sister in law so we could return to Kumbija.  Everything takes time here and so it was later in the morning when they returned, in the meantime we had gathered 3 more ladies and 2 more babies to travel back to the village.  This meant that there was no room in the minibus for Steve and I and so we decided to wait in Farafenni and get some breakfast whilst we waited for Omar to deliver all the ladies to their respective villages and then collect Sharon, Gordon and the family for our journey back to the Kombos.  We waited with Samba who had also decided he had business in Farafenni, and had breakfast together at one of the roadside stalls.  We had arranged to meet Omar at Eddie’s hotel and so we took our leave from Samba and made our way to the hotel for a cold drink and to use the facilities before Omar arrived.  We didn’t have long to wait before everyone arrived and we could join them in the minibus for our journey home.  The ferry was very very busy and we had to find someone we knew to help us board one of the earlier boats, to enable us to cross.  We had decided to stop at Kalagie for a cold drink and something to eat.  Last time we stopped here they took ages to cook chips, and so I rang ahead as instructed and ordered omelettes and chips.  There must be a happy medium somewhere as despite telling them how long we would be the meal was ready for us when we arrived, but totally cold!  Still it was tasty and we managed to eat and drink before setting off on the rest of the journey.  By the time we got back it was late in the afternoon, we were all tired and very dusty, so after a shower we had a take-away pizza and spent the evening playing the dice game.

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