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Hi everyone. Hope you enjoy this first blog. We are on the beach at an internet cafe because there is free wireless internet connection. The hotel charges £3.00 an hour! We started the day with a meeting at the Sheikh Zayed Regional Eye Care Centre with The Gambian team. We had a guided tour of the centre then discussed the paediatric section of the activity plan . Virtually all of the targets have been met so far! Other new staffing developments included two new Ophthalmologists and seven more nurses. A counsellor has also been appointed to work in the clinic to explain and interpret for patients.

In the pm we went to a national eco park, Makasuto. We got in canoes and our guide paddled up the river. The bird watching was fantastic and then we stopped at an oyster factory which was a little hut where a family shelled oysters and burnt the shells to use the dust to make paint. They then sold them at a market. Stella didn’t realise she was standing in a fire while she was taking a photo – luckily she wasn’t hurt. Then we went for a walk through a forest and sampled some palm wine followed by a demonstration of how to climb a palm tree. Our group were invited to join in so Dave and Lindsay were the only ones brave/stupid enough to have a go. Fortunately they returned safely and we celebrated with a delicious lunch of fish and traditional Gambian groundnut curry. We were entertained by a group of baboons and a band who serenaded us on percussion and the kora drum. Perfect!

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