The Gambia - Kotu LBS
Updated: Jan 17, 2019
Wednesday 5th December 2018
In the morning Alice and I started making plans, meeting with Masanneh and we also bumped into Mo our tour representative from our February trip. Wonderfully Mo remembered me, asked after Neil, mum and dad and by the end of our trip Alice and I had learnt that he was a recipient of a school sponsorship which had enabled him get his tourism job and more importantly he wanted to help The HAL Project and knew important contacts directly.
I wanted Alice to experience a school before we started the teacher training so we broke all the rules: Neil "only use green taxis", Lindsay "Okay darling...." and we promptly jumped onto community bus. What fun, Alice and I were offered the front seats (a little material over torn foam) with an excellent view through the smashed windscreen, Alice put on the seat belt as instructed by our driver "just pull it around you and sit on the end" no problem as Alice clung to me as we went around corners because the door did not close! On the return journey we upgraded (really?) to a yellow taxi.
At Kotu LBS Alice and I met with the headteacher where we learnt a lot about the school and touched on their needs - which is diverse and many. The headteacher was also keen to progress with our school twinning proposal. Alice and I then taught a grade 3 class and played a few healthy eating games, before being treated to a truly marvellous show. The whole of the school came out and each grade either sang a song, delivered poetry or produced a drama - just for us. It was a privilege and humbling, the children obviously had been practicing and it was just pure joy and smiles all round. Thank you Kotu LBS teachers and children for making us feel so special.
We then visited Bakoteh Annex LBS where the teacher training is scheduled and met with the headteacher of the school. Bakoteh Annex LBS has over 3,000 children and we can now confirm after completion of our teacher training the school has little or no resources ranging from water in the locked toilets to educational necessities. We were then treated to a walk along the road to meet with the lady who is cooking breakfast and lunch for the teachers. It was incredibly hot, very unpleasant and Alice and I were relieved to eventually return to our hotel for a welcome dip in the pool. We spent our evening preparing for tomorrow, our first day of teacher training.