You’re safe

I was about to unleash my Anglo-Spanish joke, but you’ve been saved: one of my Year 1s told me a joke today that I thought I’d share with you. I’ve tidied up the English a bit.

Two mental hospital inmates are walking by the centre’s swimming pool when one falls in, shouting “Help, I can’t swim”. The other inmate immediately leaps in pulls his friend out of the pool and gives artificial respiration, effectively saving his life.

The next day the chief psychiatrist calls the rescuer into his office and says: “We were very impressed with what you did yesterday, saving a person’s life like that. I have two pieces of news for you, one happy, one unhappy. The good news is that after watching your efforts yesterday we think you are ready to go back into society. The bad news is that, after you saved him from drowning yesterday, your friend went back to his room and hanged himself.”

The patient looks surprised and says “Oh, no doctor, I hung him out to dry!”


Today was supposed to be the start of the big drive to prepare for the group. I know the airport bus is organised and I’ve got the paint for the restaurant. I’ve spent several hours scraping flaky gloss paint off the walls, interrupted briefly by the best lunch I’ve had so far here: a nice warm roll, filled with a fried egg, salad and almost not too much ketchup. Cecilia proudly tells me she warmed the roll in the new microwave and I must admit that hot food is something of a novelty here. I started this paragraph by saying “supposedly” and I imagine regular readers can guess where the fly in the ointment is: I have seen no sign of any preparations in the RPI, at least not in the rooms – I mustn’t forget the fridge-freezer and microwave. I am biting my tongue. Abass sent a student up to fill the Mariana Trench and the lad did his best, but the situation descended into near farce when Mousa was arguing that the problem was the “sponge” (i.e. mattress”) and was eventually proved partially right. The others turned on him and asked why this problem hadn’t been reported weeks ago and why he wasn’t keeping a regular watch on what repairs were needed. Mousa went off in a huff to Friday prayers.

Later, when he was watching me scraping paint and Mr Federa wandered through, Mousa leapt to grab a bit of sandpaper and pretended to be sanding the walls. As soon as Mr F disappeared, so did Mousa.

I mentioned a week or two back that the 29th is National Assembly Elections day and that campaigning was scheduled to start on the 15th. I was looking forward to the campaigning and expected it to have a bit of local colour but so far, over half way through the campaign period, I have seen absolutely no sign of any electioneering. No lampposts bedecked with “Vote for Me” placards, no cars with tannoys exhorting us to support a political party: nothing at all. In fact it’s been rather disappointing.

The only interesting snippet of news is that Dr Jagne (the chairwoman of the Interim Management Board for the PIA) was on the front of the local paper quoted as saying “Most Gambian Men are not Fit for Two wives”.

I must admit I’m looking forward to seeing the IRA group, who arrive at 9:00pm tomorrow. I’m going out to the airport with Alasana, Rohey and perhaps some others to form a welcoming committee.

Anyway, things to do… Might get back later


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