Day 174

Tuesday. We spent the morning sorting through our rubbish. Since we came, we have collected and separated our rubbish, occasionally we burnt the card and the paper and initially also the thin plastics. We have been talking and thinking about the waste problem here a lot and we were keen to come up with a waste separation system for the village, but the subject is a complex one and needs more thought and connections. It is all slowly coming together and the plan is that we will keep working on it from Berlin, but for now the plan is that the team at Sandele is, together with an organisation called ‘precious plastics’, experimenting with a few things, mainly plastic, glass and aluminium, so we were able so bring our carefully separated waste bags to Sandele instead of burning their content.

Although we did not through any of our waste over the compound wall to burn it or let it rot, like most compounds here do, we had to admit that we produced significantly more waste than the average Gambian family by not being willing to eat the same (or very similar) dish every day and/or to give up European food.

In the afternoon we went to see the Germany-England game at Dolphins.

A game not worth mentioning, but the nice part of that afternoon was that Daffeh came to see Vincent. Daffeh is a very cool, 20 year old driver, who Vincent loves ever since he took us somewhere quite early on. Whenever he drives past with his white car, Vincent sings out loud some Gambian song that is very popular here and Daffeh would stick his head and arm out and shout the next line of the song back to him. It makes Vincent so happy and it’s very sweet to watch. I hadn’t quite understood how much he likes him, until today.

Vincent chatting to Daffeh in his car

Daffeh is the little brother of ‘Little’, a lovely young woman who is married to a German and who we meet once in a while with their daughter Aida. Aida is almost the same age as Vincent and they sometimes play together, she speaks English very well. Little runs a lodge nearby, ‘Little’s Lodge’ and we went to see them all today to say goodbye and to pick them up to watch the game together. We were on our bikes and when Vincent heard that Daffeh will drive them to the game, he really wanted to join them. I told him he can’t because we needed his bike to be with him, and he came with me, moaningly. When he later saw Daffeh driving past us in his white car, Vincent stopped cycling and had a proper meltdown, and he really spoke from his heart: He will never see Daffeh ever again, or only in fiftysixhoundred years and he only has a few friends here in Gambia and Daffeh is one of them and I never allow him to go in his car and it is all so unfair. He was very emotional and it took him a long time to calm down and to be able to start cycling again, and until we reached the village I could hear his continuous rant behind me.
When we reached Dolphins I told Little about it and she rang Daffeh, who came straight away and spent most of the evening with Vincent. Our hearts melted…