Published: March 21st 2012March 21st 2012
The hot, as they say, has definitely reached Basse. According to the BBC the temperature reached 42° though without any breeze it felt even hotter. The heat wouldn’t be so bad to deal with if the generator at the local power station could handle the heat, but like everything else in Basse at this time of year, the temperature gets too much and it, along with everyone, stops working properly. Having electricity to charge my laptop so that I have something to occupy myself with on an evening suddenly dropped straight down my list of priorities; without electricity the fans don’t work and even worse than that, the fridges don’t work so you can’t get your water cold. The water from the tap, when it decides to come on, comes out warm enough to have a comfortable bubble bath in. Not exactly what you need. Even at night it’s stuffy enough to make you feel like you’re sleeping in a box. Not much fun!
The good news is that I’ve managed to escape, hopefully for a few weeks too. My ECD project has been going well. I’ve just about finished writing a manual for teachers giving them a year’s worth of language and listening activities to prepare the children for learning letters and sounds when they get to grade one. Now Future In Our Hands, who run the phonics programme in 3 of the areas in the region I work in, have asked me to come and work in their offices for a while to start planning the training workshops that will introduce the scheme to the teachers. Their office is in Kombos, the coastal area in Gambia. The temperature down here is so much better than Basse thanks to the sea breeze. They’ve also been kind enough to provide me with a place to stay on their office compound. The apartment they’ve given me is 5 star compared to my little house in Basse. It has 24 hour power (cold water and fans galore!), a real sofa (I haven’t sat on a proper comfy sofa for 6 months!) and an oven. I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. Last night I celebrated by having some friends over for a dinner of jacket potatoes, a real treat. It’s almost like being at home. I could very used to this. What with a lovely place to stay and the beach just down the road I’m not going to want to go back to Basse.