Day 6

It’s funny how being given a plate of cold fish and chips kills the appetite. I should have realised at about 5pm when a young guy who works in the kitchen told me my meal was ready. Having had lunch at 2:30, I wasn’t hungry, so I waited… and got cold butterfish and chips around 7pm.

This morning I watched nervously as the guy opened a tin of evaporated milk for my coffee by stabbing the top twice with a 9inch long knife. When I commented this was a dangerous method, his answer was that he usually used a 6inch knife. All milk I’ve ever consumed here is tinned: strange as they have cows who produce milk without the tins.

22 mosquito bites by this morning – I have started using the repellent in the evenings and I sleep under a net. This is the low season for mosquitoes, so things could be worse.

A quiet start to the day as there are no pupils – a few students are expected in the computer lab, but no-one has arrived yet.

I went to see Ousainou Sarr, at Tosh’s request, to get a quote for the living costs for the forthcoming IRA visit: he has promised to get back to me. I also commented I thought I was being asked to pay quite a lot for eating at the RPI. Ousainou smiled the standard Gambian smile and said he’d look into it. I don’t expect much to come of it, but we’ll see.

I’ve just discovered that tomorrow’s expedition (Friday) means I leave here at 7:30am. Should be back Sunday evening. So no blog or Skyping for the next couple of days!

I spent this morning making up exercises for my ESOL class: a simple crossword and a list of common English phrases (“As fast as lightning” etc. I rejected “as pissed as a newt” as I’ve not seen any newts here and “pissed as a lizard” doesn’t have the same ring to it.)

It must be strange living in a country where you don’t speak the official language. I don’t mean holidays in France etc as that comes with the territory, if you’ll pardon the bad pun. But being a non-English-speaking Gambian,or an illiterate one must be very hard.

Anyway, this connection is crap and I almost have to hit the keys with a hammer so, Dear Reader, that’s me until next week.


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