Trek Report : 20 July 2020
What a nice trek we had. It was raining on Saturday when we did the handing-over at 7 pm and the place was full of mosquitoes but at the end it was happiness.
We left on Sunday to the LRR (Lower River Region) but before we could get the dryer out of the car, the people received news that the owner of the compound where we were to stay, had died in Serrekunda Hospital. However we carried on with the handing over and I explained how to use it. The Women’s Group wanted us to join them whilst they harvested the okra so that they could dry it when we were still there, but the death of our host meant that we had to leave to get back home. They are happy and thank you very much for helping them with a dryer. During the meeting, 2 women from the next village brought us 2 packets of dry mangoes, and we chewed one of the packets in the car as we drove home.
I left my IPad on the chair and we had to drive back for it – it was only two minutes before I remembered and fortunately it was still there, but on reflection, I don't think it is safe to take it along. If a boy happens to take it while am busy talking I might lose it and it is very important to me for the Internet.
Trek report : 16 August 2020
The connection wasn't good during our phone talk.
What I was trying to explain you was the village had made D65,000 from their sewing machines. They do sewing for a nearby village’s school uniforms and women's dresses and so far this year have made D15000 after expenses. They are very very happy with what we done for them.
I also visited Mokiling Women’s Group and there I found that they have hundreds of bags of dried okra and baobab leaves. Next month they will start sharing their dried okra between themselves and the next village, because the next village has nothing.
Next Wednesday I will be in Foni Sita to see how things are going with their drying business and, if possible, I will visit the tie and dye business at the school near Kayaborr.
We have more people with the virus than before according to our news. We also have 40 plus deaths. Day time activities are as usual only local markets close at 2pm.
Use of face masks is enforced and we all look funny face walking around the streets. Some people start to go without it. Bush taxis are full to their capacity with every passenger wearing a face mask.
Trek and news : 24 August 2020
It was a busy time after coming back from trek. The cookhouse and the room next to it all collapsed when the rice field flooded and the water had nowhere to go. The man and his wife living next door have to move out while I am away.
We had a wonderful handing over in Nyodema in the CRR (Central River Region). Everyone came out in large numbers to welcome us. I was expecting a small group for the handing-over because of Covid-19. They have lots and lots of okra and sweet potatoes. It is a sizeable village and most of the women go out to water their sweet potatoes as it is the only thing they can eat when they have no rice or couscous. They also grow pumpkins. I spoke to one of the women after the meeting about what the men do and she say they only sit but help them dig the sweet potatoes when ready. They have more sweet potatoes and okra round their houses. It is a very happy day for them receiving the dryer which will help them save the potatoes and okra for long because they are too far from the road and they cannot sell it.
The next handing over was quiet. The group has 22 women, but the men in this village have almost nothing to wear. When they came to the meeting, their shirts only covered half their bodies - the rest had rotted, I was so sorry for them when one of the women told me the story.
It was difficult to get to their village.The road was so bad that they had to come to the nearest village to collect the dryer and carry it on their heads then walk 4 miles They have lots of okra and bitter tomatoes.
I found the village very strange. When we entered almost everyone stared at us but then I realised this was because they very rarely have visitors. During the meeting it was very difficult to talk because they look at the dryer and smile instead of looking and listen to what am saying. At the end I had to walk the four miles to where the car and our driver were.
Barbara and Sarjo's Trek Reports and experiences.