Tuesday, 16 February 2010

So we moved into the house in Kanifing where we'll spend the next 3 weeks whislt we finish our in country training. I've added a few pics below. It took just one day to go from feeling like it's all a bit grotty, to really quite nice. I imagine when we come back down here to visit after being upcountry, it will feel like pure luxury.
The language training contiunes. I am in a group with Lucy and Phil, both of whom are picking it up really quickly. Nyaisatou our teacher, often throws her hands up in exasperation shouting "Kate, Kate!" This has quickly been adopted by Lucy and I think it will amuse us for weeks!

Aussie Rachel on the beach

The main highstreet into Fajara, when it's quiet.

Lucy who is coming to Soma with me

Pete and Liz, married couple, enjoying a beer at Safari gardens. We're making the most of beer availability whilst we can!

Phil at Safari gardens hotel.

Kanti, also coming to Soma with Lucy and I. Indian lady living in Canada. She's brilliant.

Typical sidestreet made of sand with massive potholes. I imagine this is what the offroad bike training will be for!

Me preparing for anorexia now we have to feed ourselves, mmm tomato sandwich. I've measured myself in preparation.

The bedroom Lucy and I are sharing in the house in Kanifing.

Kitchen - cooking area

Kitchen - washing up area!

bathroom - cold water only. I have developed a new yoga move which comes in useful when washing your hair and avoiding getting cold water all down your back.

Any views expressed are my own and are not representative of VSO.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

First impressions

I've now spent 6 days in The Gambia and I'm loving it. We're staying in a hotel until Friday, when we move into a house in town that we'll share for the remainder of our training. So far VSO have looked after us well!

Training is in full flow, including learning Mandinka.I have a serious amount of language homework to do tonight as the grammar is causing me some trouble! Every time I try our trainer throws her hands up, shrieks Kate at me and laughs! I honestly don't think I'm that bad.

Tomorrow after our morning language session we are being driven to Banjul then abandoned to find our own way home to Fajara! This trip will mean we have to branch out from the safety of the 5-5 taxis (which run like buses with set routes) and try the gellies whilst braving the bumsters!

We met most of the current volunteers at a welcome party on Saturday, everyone has been incredibly welcoming so far and all seem to be loving their placements which is reassuring. There are 8 of us who have started together and there will be 3 of us living in Soma.Me, Lucy - a primary teacher from Wales and Kanti - an Indian lady who has been living in Canada for 15 years who will be doing IT. Kanti is an absolute scream and the only one who was brave enough to ask the Country Director in our meeting how many people take condoms from the fridge... Her naivety reminds me a lot of Felicity (love you lots F!) x

So, the mission for tomorrow is to buy some towels at Banjul market and get home in one piece. Thanks for the messages, keep them coming.

Any views expressed are my own and are not representative of VSO.