13th January 2019
We have been blessed with an intelligent and industrious house help that the school hired on our behalf when we first took up residence in the Wacky Warehouse. Mariam hails from a fairly remote village and travels to Bakau in three different bush taxis to get to our house by the time we leave for school every morning Monday to Friday. She cleans our sprawling old house on a daily basis. She is also a devout Muslim and stops whatever she is doing in the house to pray five times a day.
She has completed her High School diploma but her family couldn’t afford to pay for her higher studies. We began sponsoring her this month to do a certificate course in ICT at a reputed institute in town three days a week. We hope she will be able to pass her test and go on to do her diploma there over the coming months.
It was Mariam who made the serendipitous discovery of the tomatoes growing in hidden abundance amidst the wilderness of our backyard.
We are extremely thankful that The Gambia is such a safe country. It is probably the only nation in Africa which has no break-ins or armed robbers! In their ‘Health & Safety’ sections, guide books to The Gambia say funny things like ‘Of course if you are staggering home alone drunk at three o’ clock in the morning dangling your wallet from your hand, then you might get your purse snatched!’
However, the school has also employed Francis – a very well-mannered retired gentleman ‘Night Watchman’ – who reports faithfully for duty at 7 o’ clock sharp every evening from Monday to Saturday and provides us with security (that we do not need) until 8:00 in the morning. Both Paul and I like his old-world charm (he breaks out into ‘God Save the Queen’ at the slightest encouragement!) and we are glad to provide him with the extra income he needs at his stage in life. It has also turned out to be a warm and wonderful experience to be ‘watched over’ – and reminds me of how our loving Father always watches over His children.