Thursday, 25 September 2014


It was now nearly time to leave.
For three weeks of seeing the family and friends and getting a few things sorted out it had certainly been an eventful break.
And we HAD actually managed to get a few things sorted out and had a little bit of fun along the way and you can’t really ask more from life than that.
But all good things eventually come to an end and ours was rapidly approaching because we were in our last week and the two youngest had gone back to school, but before we left I had one more job to do.

Before we’d arrived in The Gambia we’d got Mariama and Jalika to go and see their headmistress at Gola Fortunate and ask if she minded running a little competition between all the children who had contributed toward the Rhythms of The World backdrop that they had created for us, and she had been happy to do so.
One of the things Rhythms does on a regular basis is sell out of children’s sized t-shirts and we’d managed to get hold of five of them before they had done so.
Two were going to Mariama and Jalika, but the other three would be going to the school as prizes.
There was going to be one question only and the best three answers in the Headmistresses opinion would be the three winners.
The competition was held while we were in The Gambia, the three winners had been adjudged, and now it was time to present the prizes.
The question that we’d asked the children was ‘Why do you think it is important that music brings the world together ?’
And so early in the morning of our second to last day we were walking up to Gola Fortunate once again.

This time we’d given them the first hour and so we’d see the headmistress first and ask her how she wanted to do it. Whether in the classrooms or in her office ?
The Headmistress decided on her office, and sent a runner to fetch the first winner.

When she turned up the poor lass thought she’d done something wrong, but seeing us there as well hopefully put her mind at rest ?
Our second winner was unfortunately not at school that day, but our third winner was, and so we praised her also and said thank you very much for being part of the whole Rhythms of The World thing.

Their contribution would be gracing the stage again next year so long as we had a festival and although they were only rumours, it did look like it was actually going to happen again as a proper festival and not the three gigs we had this year.
We took a few pictures with everybody’s permission and the Headmistress got us copies of the winning entries and I have to admit I was impressed with their efforts.
Ok, I’m writing this after the event from notes I took at the time, but you have to admit they came pretty close to what it’s all about.

Here’s Ida Secka’s winning entry:

Here’s Amie Camara’s winning entry:

And here’s Amie Ceesay’s winning entry:

Do you notice anything strange ?
The winners were all girls.
I’m guessing that had the question been asked in the UK or the USA or Japan, or most of Europe even, then we’d have had at least one boy or possibly two among them ?
The whole music thing is definitely predominantly male based in the UK although the women do come through occasionally.
It’s more prevalent in the USA because a. The country is a lot larger, and b. The genres are authentic to the differing regions and so girls growing up learning their family’s instruments are a lot more common.  
And before we get into arguments on the subject, I’m talking about musicians, and NOT winners of television talent shows.
When did a real group or a real singer/songwriter ever win one of those ?
You could probably count them on the fingers of one hand after you’ve had an industrial accident !
Too cynical ?
I don’t think so.
So what I was so pleased about is that our three winners had obviously thought about the question that we had posed.
Out in The Gambia, being a musician was definitely a male preserve.
There were some outstanding female musicians, but they were very few and most of those were from griot families.
We’d had one at Rhythms a year ago.
Sona Jobarteh.
Probably the world’s foremost female kora player.
But Sona comes from a griot family and so it will be in her genetic makeup.
Her Father and Uncles are all musicians too.
So having three little girls win our competition was a definite eye-opener.
The times are definitely a’changing because young girls are still expected to defer to the male members of their families.
I’d like to see Amadou try that on with his sisters.
The results could be quite entertaining…
And music was not even part of the Gambian school curriculum.
But with the internet revolution it was now available to all.
No… Things are changing.
I can’t speak for any of the other countries in the African continent but Gambian kids listen, and they know what they like.
And it’s not just Madonna or Rhiannon or the big hitters either, they listen to things that we might take for granted, and it’s not like they have adventurous radio stations, they don’t.
The one that does play western music is from 9am until 12.00midday and I’m guessing it’s a sop for the tourist industry ?
The rest is rap, hip-hop and reggae with a smattering of African music.
So do the math’.
The Gambia is just one small country in Africa but the kids know who Bruce Springsteen is, and they know who Dolly Parton is, and I’m not just talking about our family either.
Amadou had asked for a cd of an Irish folkie type band that I’d never even heard of.
Why ?
Because he knew somebody who had mentioned they liked them, looked them up himself and decided that yes, they were a band for him.
At least I’d heard of the singer that Hassanatou had asked for, even though I hadn’t a clue what she sounded like ?
(New Country should you want the genre ?)
Now multiply that by the amount of children in Africa with access to the internet.
You can see what I’m getting at here…
The times are a’changing because they are not cut off any more.
So yeah, I’m pleased with our winning entries, pleased that the girls came out on top, and even more pleased that they felt that they could compete as equals.
Because in my wife’s time that would not have occurred.

After the presentations the Headmistress told us about our pair.
Apparently Mariama’s name has been put forward for Head Girl ?
This is a bit of a worry because our little drum monster knows all the dodges, and so the Headmistress thinks that she’d be better off as Assistant Head Girl helping out the Head Girl.
She has a valid point, and when I said (and explained) ‘You mean set a poacher to catch a poacher’ ?
She said ‘Exactly that’.
Haddy and I just looked at each other and laughed…
That sounds like the Mariama we know and love.
She’d also not gone in for the competition.
When she was asked why, she’d replied that she already had that t-shirt and she didn’t think it fair that she might get another one if she’d won it, and so she’d ruled herself out.
Haddy and I just looked at each other…
That definitely sounded like Mariama.
Her sense of what is right and what is wrong does sometimes put a few adults we could name to shame. 

As for Jalika, she was getting more confident in joining in everything.
She was still quiet.
(Very quiet compared to Mariama)
But her quietness was deceptive.
She took things in and thought about them before she committed herself.
And her French was amazing.
She’d really taken to it, pleasing her teacher immensely.
It had been a slow haul but she was beginning to get the hang of this learning business.
She hadn’t thumped anybody for ages, so they were all hoping that her earlier ripostes to those she felt threatened by were behind her ?
I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate, bearing in mind what had occurred in the last week, but I’m happy to go along with it. 
So, a quick trip to see the pair of them in their classes and a few more photographs and that was it.
Mariama as Head Girl or Assistant Head Girl ?
Oh well, it’s her last year at Gola Fortunate.
She will be going to a Senior School next September and that will be an interesting time…
The fact that the Headmistress trusted her enough to consider her nomination would hold her in good stead when she changed.
I think Haddy and I need to have a chat about her future because I don’t know enough about the Gambian school system.
The only thing I do know is that St Theresa’s is regarded as one of the best if not the best in the country ?
But like everything else, times change…
Now let’s try and have a relaxing time for the rest of the day, shall we ?

We walked slowly home and discussed the children.
Haddy wasn’t sure about St Theresa’s any more.
She thought maybe St Peter’s was a better bet for Mariama ?
I suppose we’ll have to find out nearer the event ?
When she told me where St Peter’s was, I didn’t believe her.
It’s a two taxi ride, and it’s a good few miles away off the main road leading to the airport.
Still, nothing we can do about it now and so it’s home to a cup of tea, I reckon ?
We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon shelling even more peanuts.
Thankfully it had been a bumper crop this year and it seemed every family we knew had loads of them.
There certainly seemed to be enough to go round.
And then round about two in the afternoon, Haddy went inside, and left me to change the music on the computer.
I did, and stuck Rokia Traore on.
Rockia is a Malian singer/songwriter and plays guitar a bit.
She’s a striking looking woman with her man style short hair and looks like she could have been a top model in another life.
Anyway, Google her up and play something if you’ve never heard of her before, I think you might find it worth it ?
Screw it !
Just click on the link below to a one hour forty minute gig and it’s done.
The album I was playing was entitled ‘Tchamantche’, and now try and picture this…
I’m sitting on a mat in the middle of the compound.
Hassanatou is over by the kitchen sorting out some food, and Haddy is sitting inside the house when this old lady (probably about sixty to seventy but it’s sometimes difficult to work out, out there) came in through our front gates and made straight for me.
I stood up and motioned her to take one of the chairs scattered about, but before she sat she started talking…
And I didn’t recognise the language.
When the locals speak in any of the local languages they tend to use one predominantly and mix in a few from the others if they want specific meanings but this certainly wasn’t one of them and even I knew that.
It sounded like there was a bit of French in there, but I couldn’t be sure ?
So, stumped, I said ‘wait there’ and went to fetch Haddy.
Haddy came out and asked the old girl inside where she insisted on sitting on the floor rather than a chair and started shelling nuts…
See… Everybody does it.
Anyway, it turns out that this lady has been in The Gambia for just over a year and is a refugee from the Islamic Taliban in Mali.
Things started getting a bit fierce down her way and rather than stay and be terrorised by a different form of Islam than the one she’d grown up with, her family had scattered and she’d found herself in The Gambia.
So imagine her surprise while walking up to the main road from Fajikunda to hear Malian music coming from one of the compounds, and being played by ‘un blanc’ as well ?
She literally thought she was dreaming.
So would we mind if she stayed and listened to the music as she had not heard any of her own country’s music for a long time.
She was happy to help shell nuts while she was doing so if we’d let her  ?
Hey !
What can you say ?
Haddy tried offering her a drink but she only wanted a few sips of water.
I asked her via Haddy if she passed this way often, as the family did have some Malian music in the house, and were somebody to be in, then I’m sure nobody would mind if the kids put it on so that she could listen to a bit more ?
But no…
She didn’t feel able to do that as it would be imposing.
Just as Rokia’s cd was finishing I switched her to Toumani Diabate and that’s when her tears started…
There was nothing wrong, it had just been a very emotional afternoon for her.
This had been the sort of music that she knew throughout her whole body.
About twenty minutes later Mariama and Jalika came back from school and before she went in to change, Mariama stopped to see who was playing.
And indoors to change they both went.
Within seconds the pair of them are out again, Mariama holding her Mother’s copy of another Toumani cd, and a copy of Fatoumata Diawara’s as well.
‘Uncle Chris, play these as well…’
‘You know what they are then’ ?
‘Everybody knows who they are…’
I’m not sure that’s particularly true, but within this family it’s a possible if not a probable.
The next thing we know is that the two little one’s are talking to the old lady in French and she’s gabbling away like a good’un.
About ten minutes later she got up to leave us.
Haddy asked her to stay for some food but she wouldn’t, and told her that she had imposed on us long enough and she was leaving now, but thank you for the afternoon as it had meant a lot to her…
And she left.
That wasn’t just odd, that was totally surreal.
I wonder if we’ll ever see her again ?
I’d like to think she might come back again sometime, but who knows.
We’ll have to wait and see ?
What was it our Rhythms winners had written ?
Music brings happiness ?
Music brings people together ?
They’d got that bang on the button !

It had been a good day. 


Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Well we all woke up early and that’s a fact.
You can’t really not when you’ve got a small mosque about two hundred yards away and a quite large one about four hundred yards away.
The small one starts the call to prayers at five-thirty and they are louder than the larger one so anybody looking to sleep in would probably need ear-muffs, but at least it means we get first go in the shower for the hot water.
We had asked everybody over the course of the previous week to PLEASE not hang about in the morning because we would be at certain places along the route to pick people up at particular times, but there’s always going to be one who doesn’t make it and has to get there under their own power.
A quick breakfast and before you can turn around Ida is here from over the road.
I’m not sure how well the plates got washed up by the smaller contingent of the family but then we can always yell at them tomorrow !!!
The people carrier is here with the guys so numbers two to seven have just been accomplished.

Amadou will be at the top of the road and Fat’ Cham is nowhere in sight.

Jali Bakary and Mariettou we pick up further along on the road to Sanyang where we will be stopping for provisions.

Right, the gang is nearly all here, so let’s get it on…
Amadou is now in, and Jali and Mariettou are waiting for us outside the small provision shop at Chinchu Alagie.

It’s a bit of a nuisance the kids not having armbands for the sea having left them in a taxi on a previous occasion, but it can’t be helped and since we are officially about a month outside the holiday season we can’t expect any of the shops to have any.
It just means that I’m going to be one bruised and scratched Dad after going in with them.
If any of the others go in I know it’ll be later in the afternoon but children who see water ALWAYS seem to want to get in it as soon as they can, and ours are no exception.
Of course when the first big wave hits then they’ll all grab me to hang on to…
Hence the bruises.

While we’re at Tanje (pronounced tan-gee, as in whiz) Amadou asks if I know the track that he’s been blasting into his ears via his headphones ?
It’s definitely something that both his Mother and I have been known to blast out on occasions, and I suppose singing the chorus back at him gave the game away somewhat…
‘Honey you shake, I’ll rattle, we can roll on down the line… See if we can’t get in touch with a very close friend of mine… ‘
Well that’s all you’re getting, so do you know what it is ?
It’s a ‘classic’ album track from the second album.
Any fan of ‘Classic Rock’ from the nineteen seventies should be able to place it and I can’t be arsed to tell you, but bless him, Amadou thinks it’s the dog’s dangly bits (I’m being polite, ok ?) and he’s really got into it.
Funny how some artists just seem to get under people’s skin ?
So far we’ve got Mum, Mariama and Amadou into this guy’s music and they all like different songs, but that’s the great thing about music.
It crosses all borders of country, race, colour, religion, and any other damned obstacle that people have a habit of throwing in your way as we all stagger blindly from one world crisis to another…
It turns out Amadou has got the complete double greatest hits cd on his iPod.
See… Our family have good taste.
If you can’t get the track from the chorus then you’re either no rock fan or far too young,  and you can google it if you want the artist, cos I’m not an information service for ‘Failed Rock fans…’
Oh, I like that.
Failed Rock fans.
Great expression, and I might have to use it again sometime ?
That’s pissed off a few of you, no doubt ?
Oh well… Tough !
Jeezus H !!!
Haddy has just come around the corner with probably the largest melon I have literally ever seen in my life ?
Bloody thing is gonna need a seat of its own at that size ?
Ok, stash the melon.
Buy a bit more…
Still no children’s armbands or even rings but at least we tried.
Not far to go now because you can actually see Sanyang from the fish market.
And we’re there.
Bumping along the sandy track down to Leybato…

First things first and the younger ones insist on getting changed because they want to go swimming.

They’ll have to wait for about an hour before we let them in as I have a couple of jobs to do in the way of helping with the food.

So after a bit of lazing about the first game of Ludo started up...

Of course as soon as we turn up, the dogs materialise also.

Now there are two ways of looking at the dogs on the beach if you’re a tourist.
All the guidebooks tell you the sensible one and usually we do the other.
If anything was to go wrong then yes, it’ll be down to us, but so far it hasn’t and so long as we keep being kind then there really is no reason to think that it would.
Ok, let’s give you the gen and you can make your own minds up ?
The guidebooks tell you that you must stay away from the dogs who roam the beaches because they have turned feral, will probably bite because they’ve been badly treated and could have rabies ?
This is all true.
Any one of those could be true, if not all of them ?
However, since we’ve been coming here we have seen about three families go from young dog to adulthood.
They don’t tend to last long because the snakes go for their puppies and the adults tend to die defending the pups.
Originally they will have been beaten and cut by the local beach dwellers including the bumsters and the fishermen.
Some will have their tails cut off and some their ears, but they do respond to kindness.
When I first started feeding them back when Haddy’s eldest daughter Fatou was working here she nearly had a pink fit when I asked for a bowl of water for the dogs and all the food that we would otherwise have thrown away to feed them.
I figured that if we fed them then they’d hang about and keep the rat population away ?
And it worked, they did.
At the time we were the only beach bar without a rat problem because Fatou followed my lead and kept them fed and watered.

Unfortunately, now that her Father has let it go to rack and ruin after she and Haddy made a success of it we might have to do it all over again, but while we are here we will keep our side of the bargain.

And it seems to work.
These dogs ARE feral and there’s no doubt about that, but they respond to kindness.
None of our lot will chase them away or beat them AND they can have a fresh drink of water without going into the scrubland and mixing it with the snakes, AND, they seem to appreciate it ?
Obviously I’m not suggesting that you ‘diss’ the guidebook’s advice, but surely a better way is just to be friendly ?
They got little of that from their original owners and that’s for sure.
If in doubt then stay away is good advice, but what if you have no doubts ?
I know it sounds strange but I’m glad they are there and that they come back to see us when we arrive.
The beach is a few miles long so they could range anywhere, but they seem to like Leybato and that’s fine with us.

Even our Gambian guys don’t chase them away now.
It’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things but I think we’re doing the right thing.
Only time will tell.
Anyway, first we have to sort out the important stuff and get the ataya (pronounced attire) on...

Then it's time for me to start work.

Having done my chores (grating cabbage and carrot) which has now been taken over by Amadou, I am finally allowed to change and have a bit of fun…
The guys are nipping back up the road to buy fresh fish caught this morning which they will then prepare.
Aliou Bah is the main man as far as ‘chef-ing’ is concerned with Kawsu in reserve but they know what they’re doing.
Ok, the sun is up, the water is warm so last one in is a cissy.
Probably can’t say that in this politically correct age, but do I give a toss ?
And I got absolutely hammered…
There's another one coming...

Urrrrgh... That was cold...

Ida is by far the worst out of the three of them.

Call that cold... What a wuss...

She’s also the biggest, so it doesn’t bode well when she grabs hold as the waves come in.

I'll give you wuss, you cheeky so and so...

To be fair to Ida,  Mariama and Jalika have had a lot more experience in water and I managed about an hour before I needed to get out, and to tell you the truth I was knackered.
I left the kids with Housai’ watching over them.

Anybody going further out than waist height will be dragged out and won’t be allowed in the sea again.
They’ve been warned but they’ll be alright for a bit in the shallows.
Time to dry off before a lunchtime snack.
And finally…
Fat Cham has arrived.
She definitely missed the bus…
(And she’s not fat either, it’s short for Fatou…)
And so, typically because it’s food time, has Ali.

Ali lives at Sanyang anyway, and I think Haddy asked him to pop over because he makes the wristbands which she gives out to our friends at Cropredy and to others so honoured.
Today he’ll be making about ten plus one special one each for the little ones.
No problem.

Ok, let’s eat.
The lunchtime snack is the fish they bought when we arrived, with the aforementioned cabbage and carrot mix as the ‘salad’.
This is then liberally sluiced with lime juice and black pepper and it tastes ok to one who’d never had it before.
Ok, I’d have preferred lettuce and tomato, but it’s what we could get and beggars can’t be choosers…
I got ‘Ladyfish’.
The picture below is out of sequence and was actually taken at the compound but it will give you some idea of the sizes of these things.

At the bottom is a Ladyfish and above that is a Barracuda
 And, as usual, the piece was bloody enormous.
How do people eat all that ?
I can’t, and that’s a fact.
Haddy had barracuda and that wasn't small either.

Haddy's barracuda

(You can actually buy frozen barracuda steaks in the UK now, check your local African or Asian grocer...) 
I can’t see the dogs getting any either, certainly not with this lot about…
I do however have to pay tribute to my fellow chefs because it was absolutely delicious.

It’s after lunch, and now the three little monsters are going to have to wait an enforced hour after they’ve eaten and so they are going for a walk with Amadou down the beach before hitting the sea again.

Ali has eaten, done his bit with the wristbands and been paid for his efforts and now he’s off to see a couple of his mates further down the beach.
Of course the little ones and Amadou have now vanished into the distance somewhere, so guess who got the job of going to look for them ?
Yep !
Got it in one…
The problem with me going is that I’m a sitting target for every bloody bumster on the beach and I can tell you now, it gets very tedious just saying ‘No thank you’ or ‘No thanks, I’m looking for my kids… You haven’t seen three little girls and their elder brother have you ?’ and all they want to do is sell you something, so they’re not really interested.
It’s that bloody ‘screw the toubab’ thing again.
I’m in swimming gear and a t-shirt and I’m NOT carrying any money but as they say, they can call around for it later…
I don’t think so.
About a couple of miles down the beach they are finally located and informed that Mum has sent the search party, so could they please return and put her mind at rest, thank you ?
It’s hard work walking on that sand.
It’s red hot for starters, so the walk back is through the wet stuff with the sea rippling at my feet.
You ever walked a couple of miles through wet sand with the waves trickling over your feet ?
It takes twice as long as it did to get there because your feet sink into the sand.
And of course, you are then a target for every bumster on the beach to have another go…
How I managed to remain polite has eluded me, but I did.
Sod it.
I need a drink and fruit juice will do very well, thank you.

Now of course the kids want to go in the sea again…
Oh well, assume supervisory duties and try and get them out when they start shivering which will probably be in about another hour’s time.
It’s a great life if you don’t weaken…

It’s food time again and so it’s time to get the kids out of the water and dried off and then it’s steamed and grilled chicken with the same salad.

Not bad at all…

And I’m used to the cabbage and carrot mix now.
So there I was, videoing everything going on, when the guys changed the subject they had been talking about to music.
Specifically, Gambian music.
I know a few words in Wolof and I really wanted them to switch to English so I could put my two pennies worth into the conversation as well, but as usual, Haddy saved the day and we didn’t even turn the camera off.
The complete conversation is on video and I include it here because these guys and me are on the same wavelength when it comes to Gambian music.
And the reason I’m talking slowly is because English is not their native tongue and I want them to understand what I’m talking about.
If I’d just hit them with my usual fifty mile an hour rat-a-tat-tat speech pattern then they wouldn’t have got most of it, and this was important, to me at least.
If you watch it and think you have a point to make then please get in touch via the blog’s comment section, but I warn you now, I don’t do anonymous users.
Too many of them love flinging insults (usually heavily racist) and I can’t be bothered with them.
There are far too many floating about, and their mindless and gutless comments hiding under their cloak of anonymity piss me off, so I sorted the blog so it won’t accept them.
Anybody sending a comment is welcome to do so, but I can do without mindless arseholes.
(Couldn’t we all ?)
Anyway, here ‘tis…
What do you reckon ?
It does throw up a few points, especially about reggae but I think we covered most bases ?
It also makes me think that I’d love to work with ‘Pa Lie’ on something out there.
I reckon we could do something to prove our point ?
Oh yeah, for those who have blundered in here by accident or because you’ve clicked on something that looked interesting to you, here’s a link to one of those films that my wife made about the Afro Manding guys that I mentioned in the conversation.
They’re both on Youtube but I actually like the ‘look’ of the first one she shot. 
If you’re one of the regular readers (and I know there’s a few) then you’ve probably seen one if not both of them already.
If not, then it’s just a practice session without the kora player and vocalist who returns on the second one in which we lose one drummer and the balofon player due to circumstances beyond their control.
Is that it ?
This bloody post is going on for ever, I hear you cry ?
Errr… Actually no.
But there is a little more, he says, hesitantly…

Ok, it’s late afternoon and the little ones are finally out of the water.
Now it’s time for a couple of wrestling bouts…

Waste of time.

I would have put my money on Kawsu and I would have won, just like he did…

They’re a lovely bunch of nutters, this lot.
I love them to bits.
Friends, colleagues in a couple of things, teachers…

Pa Lie, Fat' Cham and Mariama at back
What can I say ?
But they are definitely utterly mad sometimes, and this was one of those ‘sometimes’.
Some of you have read some of the earlier posts in which I mention the family’s ‘Initiation ceremony’.
If you haven’t, then what I suggest you do is click on the upcoming video link and all will be revealed.
It is of course total madness, but that’s one of the things that all families have hidden away somewhere…
And ours is no exception.
The poor innocent dupe whose turn it is will be given a quick warning, told to kneel, and then it occurs…
And loud screams and yells usually hit the air because it’s bloody cold for a start.
Not that I have yet had it done, I haven’t.
But my time will definitely come.
This year it was Lamin’s turn and also Jali Bakary’s.
I do think it should take place a little earlier in the day because the sea is beginning to cool down by this time.
Yes, you are quite right.
We are all stark raving mad.
But that’s the joy of it, don’t you see ?
Oh, and just to prove a point, here's a still shot taken literally just after it occurred...
Please note the proximity of the two dogs. 

Pa Lie, Dog, Mariattou, Housai' and dog...

Anyway, anything after that is an anti-climax.
Like giving out the ties…

I mean can you think of a more unsuitable place to do it ?
But the guys were all here and in one place and it made sense to Haddy, so why not ?
There’s no arguing with her logic, is there ?

It was time to leave.
I always miss this place when we go.
Probably because Haddy and I came here for our wedding reception ?
It has always been somewhere to go and just chill out for the day.
But it has seen better days under Fatou’s stewardship and then under Haddy’s when her daughter first went to Scotland with her husband.

Somebody should look after it, but Fatou’s Father will not do it.
He is only interested in ‘instant money’ and it shows in what Haddy had put into it, and which has since gone missing, and the state the place is in now.

It is very sad.
I’m glad I haven’t met Fatou’s Father, and I have no wish to either.
The guy is definitely on my ‘shit list’.
(Cue L.7 for their music track… Google it if you have to… Great track)

The three youngest members all fell asleep on the way back home.
Bearing in mind the times they usually go to bed, I think they must be tired out ?
We left a bit later than we were going to, which caused a bit of trepidation as Jali was supposed to be at work that night and when we stopped outside his place of employment he was still wet, ok, he’d changed into his suit whilst in the mini-van, but at least we got him there on time.
And when we finally got back to Fajikunda it was in the middle of a power cut, and we found Awa, back from work, sitting in the middle of the compound with a candle for company…
Typically as soon as we got back the kids woke up.
It had definitely been one of ‘those’ days.