Tuesday, 1 February 2011

What A Short Strange Trip It's Been...

Well, you know what they say ?
All good things have got to come to an end, and this trip was ending much too rapidly.
We'd spent a few days lounging at Ocean bay, a few days lounging at Leybato Sunrise and a few days lounging around the compound.

We'd had sun and we'd had rain...

and believe me, when I say we'd had rain we'd had it !
I’d shot out there to bring Haddy the documents that she needed.
She’d collected hers together, and now was the time to do it.
The kids had decided what they were going to do in their lives and a further college course and studying was going to be required for Husainatou and Hassanatou who were actually splitting up for the first time in their lives.
It was going to make a huge difference to both of them as one could not now cover for the other.
Neither of them had ever got into trouble at school because they were always posing as each other to get the other one out of any jam.
Now they were both off in different directions, one into banking and the other into the travel industry
Amadou was still struggling to join the army as the intake had been restricted after the recent alleged coup attempt on the President and since neither of us had the money to pay for a pilot’s course, he knew he was going to have to be a pretty astounding student and was seriously going to have to study to make the top five students in the country so as to get a government scholarship, but he was prepared to give it a go and we were both prepared to support that.
Mariama had just changed her school and was doing a lot better than she had previously.
Well, that’s the way WE were thinking, anyway…

So the last full day dawns and we spend it reasonably productively at Bakau playing at ‘Tourista’s’, and buying a couple of bits and bobs (So long as I got them at the right price… And I did) and West Africa Tours in the afternoon, picking up a couple of cheques for Leybato Sunrise, plus I get a couple of shots of the local sea vulture population…
They just sat there on the roof of the building on the other side of the road as we went for a taxi.
Truth to tell, this was the closest I’d ever come to one of them, apart from a couple of visits ago at Leybato and Paradise Beach where they circled overhead while Mariama was taking me for a walk up the beach past all the local fishermen who were cleaning out their boats.
Hence the interest of the vultures...
They are seriously ‘Ugly as Fuck’ to use a vulgar English term but there is something about them. You see them up that close and there’s something strange about them…
It’s like they are just checking you out for dinner.
Always aware… Always looking…
I got the feeling I was being spoken about.
Yes, I know… Dozy old twat !
But… That’s what I felt and it was bloody eerie to feel like that in the middle of the afternoon.
The real life versions of something that escaped from the film ‘The Dark Crystal’.
Remember that film ?
It was made by a Muppet or two ?
Messrs Jim Henson and Frank Oz.

And those puppets are creepy.
I don’t care what anyone else says or thinks ?
They’re creepy.
Vultures are the same.

We gave out a couple of the bits and bobs when we got back…
Here’s Mariama with a few friends and something that was so underpriced I was amazed ?
I’d have liked to buy her the bigger one but this was a gift at the price, so…

Anyway, she’d been doing very well at her new school and had gone from about fortieth in a class of fifty five-ish to top ten.
Which in my book at least deserves a bit of recognition, and so…
One small ballaphon which for all them as don’t know, is the forerunner of the xylophone and marimba.
It’s obviously not a full size one, but hey ! She can always progress ?
One small intstrument for girlkind and one loud noise for mankind...
If you get the drift ?

The following morning was so sad.
I finally terminated my swimming plimsoles that I’d had since I was fifteen…
They’d been in as many seas and oceans as I had so it was soul destroying to get rid of them but they were more painful to wear now than actually treading on either broken glass, a jagged tin, a rock or a sea-urchin (It’s the last one that hurts the most…) whilst in the sea.
Maybe a comfortable new pair might make up for them ?
I took them to the rubbish bag myself.

Well, you wouldn’t get somebody else to shoot your bloody horse if it had a broken leg, would you ?
That afternoon it’s the usual sad goodbye at Banjul airport but we’ve tried to put it at bay by meeting Anna from the previously mentioned West Africa Tours who buys the goodbye coffees, and then the flight is called and I’m off through security to Luigi’s outside the departure lounge where I will buy a hideously overpriced cheese baguette with another black coffee.
Yes, the cheese baguette is overpriced, but I’ll give them one thing…
It actually tastes like it should taste.
This is no pre-packed airport food.
This is made freshly when you ask for it.
Ok, I’ll shut up about the price…
A noisy flight owing to screaming and crying babies…
And they banned smoking ?
What’s worse ?
A yelling and screaming infant, or a cigarette ?
If you have to get rid of one then surely you could have got rid of the other ?
Looks like a fair trade-off to me ?
I’m tequila’d and tobacco’d up and so it’s the red zone for me…
Hi guy’s…

What a short strange trip it’s been ?
Certainly the strangest yet.
Now all either of us can do is await the outcome.
It’s not as if I haven’t got anything to be getting on with ?
Rhythms Of The World is next month.
Please God let it be soon…

Sorry about the delay in the photo's but it would seem perseverance pays off ?
Still takes about ten minutes to upload one shot tho'

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