Wednesday, November 3, 2010

CVM in the Gambia

During the past two weeks we have also taken time to do some "sightseeing" beyond Banjul, and we want to share with you some views from our visits, as well as typical views of the roadside, first from our visit to Brikama, about forty-five minutes drive south of Kololi (where our compound is located).

Brikama roadside photos

For the first two weeks of our stay here we were the only guests at the CVM compound, but by mid-October we were joined by Stephen Wik, CVM staff worker from British Columbia. The next day we were joined by two pharmacists from Edmonton, Katie Wong and Rosanna Yan, who came to help out at the pharmacy of the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital for two weeks.

Katie and Rosanna in front of the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital

With Stephen, Katie and Rosanna we took a trip to the village of Jidda, south of Banjul, beyond Brikama. This village is special for CVM work, because it has been a focus of their wholistic ministry here in the Gambia, Typical of rural areas, the cultivation of groundnuts, or peanuts, as we know them, provides a staple crop.
Groundnut field

Groundnut plant

Cleaning plants

We also visited the plot of ground, and small house which the people of Jidda have allotted to CVM driver/assistant Martin, in thanks for his considerable help to their community. He lost no time in digging the well, which has been a real boon to his numerous neighbours. He was certainly a hero to the children, and the centre of attention when he showed them his new Canadian laptop.


Children with laptop

As we waited for tea at Martin's house, we discovered that the day of our visit had been designated as a Gambia-wide day for immunization against polio. Although the immunization was given by mouth and not painful, the "strange" procedure elicited a fair amount of tears!

Polio immunization

Katie and Rosanna have already left the Gambia, since they planned to continue their visit to Africa with an attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Before they left we said goodbye to them with a restaurant dinner with the entire CVM team here, including not only Martin, but also Joseph, the night watchman, Ibrahim, and our cook, Victoria, with her little daughter, Agnes, who enjoyed herself immensely on this occasion.

Dinner with CVM group


CVM group photo

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