Banjul and the books.


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Africa » Gambia » District of Banjul
February 19th 2012
Published: February 20th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

After getting to the hotel at 2:30 in the morning after 24 hours in transit, the 9am alarm for breakfast comes entirely too soon.

I theory we have a slate of meetings today with the ministry of education and the mayor, the when and where is of course still in flux. A quick breakfast at the hotel, a quick dip in the somewhat chilly (but lovely) Atlantic Ocean and we are ready, but still waiting for word on our schedule and our transport. As Americans it is still an overwhelming case of HUAW (Hurry Up And Wait). We will adapt, though it will take a few days to really get the hang of it.

This is the only day of meetings that I will be involved in for a couple of days. We are meeting with the Banjul branch of the Ministry of Education, who has been tasked by the President as the main force for handling the distribution of books across the country at this point. They are also the group that will be coordinating getting all of us and our gear as well as all of the 20,000 books to the inner part of the country for our walk across The Gambia. In addition they are going to be coordinating an additional walk through the city of Banjul to all of the schools. For government officials in Africa, these people are organized. In what becomes a 2 1/2 hour meeting they help us hammer out a final schedule, and assure us that they will be able to get us transport and get all of the books handled. We are encouraged, but still somewhat skeptical as we depart the meeting to head to see the storage where our 44,000 books are stored.

Once we get to the facility, an elementary school in the capital, many of our fears are assayed. The staff of the Mayor and the Education department had done an excellent job of sorting and arranging all of the books in to two classrooms.

After getting to the hotel at 2:30 in the morning after 24 hours in transit, the 9am alarm for breakfast comes entirely too soon.

I theory we have a slate of meetings today with the ministry of education and the mayor, the when and where is of course still in flux. A quick breakfast at the hotel, a quick dip in the somewhat chilly (but lovely) Atlantic Ocean and we are ready, but still waiting for word on our schedule and our transport. As Americans it is still an overwhelming case of HUAW (Hurry Up And Wait). We will adapt, though it will take a few days to really get the hang of it.

This is the only day of meetings that I will be involved in for a couple of days. We are meeting with the Banjul branch of the Ministry of Education, who has been tasked by the President as the main force for handling the distribution of books across the country at this point. They are also the group that will be coordinating getting all of us and our gear as well as all of the 20,000 books to the inner part of the country for our walk across The Gambia. In addition they are going to be coordinating an additional walk through the city of Banjul to all of the schools. For government officials in Africa, these people are organized. In what becomes a 2 1/2 hour meeting they help us hammer out a final schedule, and assure us that they will be able to get us transport and get all of the books handled. We are encouraged, but still somewhat skeptical as we depart the meeting to head to see the storage where our 44,000 books are stored.

Once we get to the facility, an elementary school in the capital, many of our fears are assayed. The staff of the Mayor and the Education department had done an excellent job of sorting and arranging all of the books in to two classrooms.

More post later, but our ride is here. We are headed to a string of meetings at the Law school and University and then heading upcountry in a few hours.

Cheers

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