Today was the first day of the four personal projects we are completing in the Gambia. We had a well needed breakfast (more rice porridge) and then split into our work groups.
The networkers spent their first day in the health center, starting the process of painting the whole ward and going out to barter for a set of solar panels. These panels will eventually ensure that the ward has lighting twenty four seven. In the next few days the rest of the ward will be painted, cleaned, disinfected and wired up.
The explorers on the other hand where split between the school and the educational project (physical or mental strain either way) whilst a small group of them worked in the background making everyone’s lunch and taking plenty of video footage.
The work at the building project entailed helping the local builders in any way they could. Mostly flattening and leveling the steps inside the building, preparing them for plastering. Definitely a hard and laborious processes but something that just had to be done. Some lucky explorers did get a chance to help plaster the outside walls and one individual even got a motorbike ride. Also a few individuals got to go in the minibus on a water run to the local mosque to keep the process of making cement ticking over.
Everyone returned for lunch and left for an afternoon siesta. We rested in the hotel, playing cards chatting and doing a bit of sunbathing until five when we left to do our first set of activities with the scouts. Tonight was team building activities and a great chance to find out how ruthlessly competitive the Gambians are. We did various games such as the blindfold game (Where a team mate is blindfolded and you have to direct them to a hat) [Editors note: Its rather worrying as a leader to set this game up and then as you call 3-2-1 you can see 6 blindfolded Gambians all in sprinters stances aiming straight at you.] and the fact game (You have to come up with one true and one false fact about yourself in your group).
So that was the end to an active first day, really setting the scene for what was to come later in the week. Everyone retreated back to their air-conditioned rooms and tried to recover their strength for the next day.