2013 March 12 – Planning Trip Up-Country
March 12, 2013
Today I awoke at 3 AM and started writing. I typically have 20-25 e-mail messages that need responding to daily and I like to use the quiet time to do this – writing about events of the day, writing about project evaluation design, writing consultancy contracts and setting/revising trip goals.
I spent about two hours segmenting out all of the school payments we will be giving to schools in the Central River Region during our trek up-country on Thursday. There is a lot to do and a short amount of time to do it in. It is better that the trip will be quick given my tooth continues to cause me discomfort.
After it gets about to about 5 AM I go to the pump and start filling the 7 buckets I need, in order to replenish the water that was used the day before for bathing, laundry, cooking, and dish washing. It takes me 30-40 minutes to get everything filled. The water comes out slowly from the tap so I try and get other tasks done while it is filling. A couple of times I forgot I had the bucket filling and found the water gushing over the rim! Water is precious here and so now I sit and enjoy the garden and watch the bucket as it slowly fills.
It is 12 PM and I am heading to the office soon. I had some tomato soup with saltine crackers for breakfast. Lunch comes about 3 PM.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) we do all of our buying for the trip up-country. I understand Essa’s boss, Momodou Ceesay, will be joining us in Essa’s blue pick up. We will have a very good driver – one that is quiet, easy going and is professional. It is Momodou’s driver and he is the Managing Director of the Gambia Printing and Publishing Company.
Specifically, Momodou is taking us to Kerewan, his home village. I had read about Kerewan as part of my course work in Urban Global Education, (sponsored by Teachers without Borders and Johns Hopkins). The 2012 “Education for All” policy report results indicated that Kerewan had a reading/literacy rate lower than any other part of the country. If I can do anything, I can adapt my work to meet the most distressed areas in The Gambia. I look forward to meeting the Akalo (village leader) and seeing how the schools are performing. This is fortuitous – Essa’s boss having come from the village and the course-work leading me to the area through an analysis of the statistics.