1999 Journal, MLC & Travel through Dakar to The Gambia

AT MISSIONARY LEARNING CENTER IN VIRGINIA

25 October 1999 – Monday

I arrive at the Missionary Learning Center (MLC) in the country outside Richmond, Virginia. Today I begin 7 weeks of training and other preparation for living on a mission field. I did not journal much! I think just two days plus including my first Newsletter back home.

26 October 1999 – Tuesday

MORNING

Everyone arrived at MLC by last night and we start this morning. I’m in a suite with Brian & Patrick. I room with Patrick, 24 from Raleigh but may have my own room by tonight. There is a vacant one between us and Bill & Judy next door. It is time for breakfast. Psalm 46 inspired me again this morning. God is in charge!

EVENING

It is the end of the first full day at Missionary Learning Center. This is going to be another experience of a lifetime. Great people, purposeful learning goals, and a wonderful atmosphere! I already like it! The three young children in our quad call me “Uncle Charlie.” I like that and even got hugs before bedtime tonight.

I also love my new laptop on which I am writing now. This big 15” screen is just super! And the software and everything! I’m not using it for internet connection because the only connector is in Brian’s room and only one in the quad can use it at a time and so far no one has gotten through on the phone line. I use one of the desktops in the computer lab to do email.

I had a great two-mile walk this afternoon and hope to each day. It is beautiful farmland out here and the fall colors are in full force. Just beautiful!

The worship was so good this morning and I love you so much God. Forgive me of letting myself or my ego get in the way of loving you more and praising you and depending on you and doing your will! Help me to decrease and Christ to increase in me.  Amen!

31 October 1999

I have learned much more about worship this week from Ron & Patricia Owens. This morning was their last time to lead us in worship and I hope I can remember the essence of what Ron said about worship. I must decrease and He must increase!  Revelation chapters 4 & 5 became lessons in worship, along with Isaiah 6. I must reject all glory or simply give all glory to God in all that is done. This will take a conscious effort in both my worship and in my daily living.  God help me to know you.

21 November 1999
The Newsletter #1:

From Charlie in The Gambia
A Prayer Newsletter for the Jola People
21 November 1999

MLC Is Preparing Me for a New Place of Service

Wow! I didn’t realize how much there is to learn on assisting other missionaries and planting churches in an unreached people group!  So what are we doing for 7 weeks at Missionary Learning Center (MLC)?

We are beginning each day corporately with worship that has been some of the most meaningful ever for me!  Then it is classes and reading and activities until bedtime! We are organized into teams and the whole place functions by the work of our teams as it does on the mission field.

Who Are We?

We are 121 adults and 53 children, all soon to go overseas to every continent as Southern Baptist missionaries. There are many going as “career” missionaries, which means the beginning of a lifetime of mission service. The rest of us are going for 2 or 3 years in the International Service Corp (ISC), ISC Masters Program (over age 50), or the Journeyman program  (just graduated from college).

We are mixed in each house of four apartments so that there are all ages and stages of life to make up a big extended family like Africans. My “quad” has two couples with empty nests, one couple with three children ages 2-8, and three of us single guys, 22, 46, and 59. Quite a family! And we are all going to Africa!

Our Studies

Already we have dealt with fitness, travel, insurance, security, personal growth, witnessing, prayer, philosophy, strategy, cultural anthropology, chronological Bible storying, animism, folk Islam, cross cultural communication, worldviews, and lots of homework! Still to come are more on health, single living, a field trip to other religious groups in Washington, DC, spiritual warfare, church planting, team building, and utilizing you guys as short term volunteers when you come over (and I hope you do!).

My Greatest Need: Prayer Partners

The only way to introduce Jola people to Christ is for God to prepare their hearts ahead of me and that happens when God’s people pray. What can you do?

1)     Pray that God will work in the hearts of the Jola people in the Banjul area where I will witness.

2)     Pray that I learn the language quickly.

3)     Invite others to be prayer partners.

4)     That my house sell soon!

CHRISTMAS?

will be in The Gambia for me and the Hutchison family has already invited me over for Christmas dinner.

My Schedule
Dec 10-11: Fly to Dakar for orientation

Dec 19: In my new home in a Banjul suburb:

Fajara Section M  or  Mail to:

PO Box 2376

Serekunda, The Gambia

West Africa.

Email: CharlieDoggett@HotMail.com

NOTE: I will put just the words of all my newsletters from The Gambia in this Journal. To see the actual newsletters with clip art and some photos, see my photocopies of the original newsletters with the artwork. They’re on another page of this website with links to each individual newsletter like this one above:


EN ROUTE TO THE GAMBIA

10-11 December 1999 – Richmond to Brussels

Wow! The seven weeks at MLC flew by with many, many, and wonderful experiences! I’m not sure why I didn’t journal it except that the full schedule down to dusk and much reading, homework, and even meetings left me ready to drop by 9:30 or 10:00 most nights. Then I was up again at 6:00 AM every morning. If I am to journal in Gambia it may have to be at morning, breakfast or maybe a dinner or early evening, depending on the schedules that will develop. It is not easy to be disciplined in journaling!   🙂

It is hard for me to summarize MLC, at least simply or in one sentence. I have learned so much and grown spiritually in multiple ways. Cultural Anthropology was a fun subject that helped me to get excited about the Jola people and want to start learning more about them as soon as possible and especially the language! The church planting classes were maybe the best as the “main thing” we must do. And what helped me most spiritually was Jerry Rankin’s Bible study on “Spiritual Warfare.” It helped me to understand what has been happening with Satan in America and how his work is different in Africa. I was motivated to go out and find a copy of C.S. Lewis’ SCREWTAPE LETTERS to read again while in The Gambia.

I promised my covenant group I would read the book on boundaries my Nashville counselor prescribed. And I have expressed my intention to spend an hour each morning with God in quiet time plus 30 minutes at night. Maybe one of these times will include journaling. I have in mind getting up early, reading God’s word and then walking for 45 minutes or an hour with prayer during the whole walk. A special kind of prayer walking.

I am determined to be a witness everywhere I go! The opportunities will be many!

IMB provided transportation after the graduation ceremony to the Richmond Airport. I had trouble with the airline accepting a trunk I planned to check. Ron Hunt rushed out and picked it up so he could ship it. Last minute challenges keep the adventure exciting!

The first leg of my flight was from Richmond to Atlanta. It was a privilege to witness to a young business man who is a Mormon by birth but not in his heart. I started out well, with him doing most of the talking – then I took away from what he was thinking by talking too much about myself and my life, problems, blessings and all. I should not have! I hope a lesson is learned! He did say he believed in Jesus. I will pray for Dewey who lives in Idaho Falls. It is time to board for Brussels now. (I slept most of the way to Brussels.)

11-12 December 1999 – Brussels to Dakar

My joy on this leg of the trip was witnessing to an Englishman who had retired from his own successful business. He was divorced ten years ago like me and we became instant friends. He is Ben A. Parker

My witness to him will strengthen the efforts of his evangelical lady friend, Rebecca, who has said she will marry him if he becomes a Christian. He asked several questions and we talked about being a follower of Christ off and on throughout the trip. We exchanged email addresses and I will follow-up on him via email. He came to Dakar to meet his 28 year old daughter who is trekking across Africa in a Land Rover and will meet him in Dakar in the next 2 or 3 days. He will travel with them for a month and then fly home from another city. Interesting!

IN DAKAR FOR INITIAL TRAINING

We arrive in Dakar at 11:30 PM Dakar time I think on the 11th. But it was nearly 1:30 AM before all the bags arrived and one of mine was missing. It was Al’s computer of all things! (I had been asked to deliver a computer to one of the missionaries.) I was met by Al and the Kauffman’s and was in my apartment at the Dakar Guest House by 2:30 AM Sunday the 12th.

I slept until 9:00 AM, went with the Hodges to International Baptist church which was African-led but very Western or American in worship style with all but special music in English. There was a good sermon and music. For Christmas we must give Christ to those who know not.

Lunch was with the Kauffman’s and I took a walk in the afternoon. Al and I went to the airport to get his computer which did arrive. We then went to the Tim Mahoney’s for a potluck dinner and visiting. I heard the Muslim Call to Prayer here for the first time and learned it is now the month of Ramadan.

I’m tired and going to bed though my next door neighbor, Tiffany, is having a going away party as she is leaving the field tomorrow with fellow-Journeyman Joel to get married. The guitar has started playing which might interfere with sleep, but I doubt it. I’m tired!

13 December 1999 – Monday

I slept well last night and until nearly 8:00 this morning. The Kauffman’s were with me from 9:00 to about 12:30 for jola orientation which will continue for two more mornings. We had lunch together.

We talked about the team, the Jola people and what they will expect from me in the next 8 months while they are on stateside assignment:

1.     Learn language to at least level 2

2.     Learn culture

3.     Business facilitation in Bignona with at least one trip there per month

4.     Send monthly prayer requests to Sara Haun

5.     Develop Jola friendships

We also talked about language and language learning and they taught me some greetings. My tutor will be Ebrima Collie, beginning January 4. I will be with the facilitators this afternoon, but not sure when it starts. The culture here closes down for lunch from 11:30 or 12:00 until about 2:30 or 3:00. It is about 2:30, so I will try to see if Al, Tim, or Gary are back in the office yet.

I had a good visit with Gary on financial roles and responsibilities.

My first Jola dinner was with the Ibrahima Badji family who are dear friends of Lee and Donelle Kauffman. The oldest of their two sons is named after Lee.

The meal was very good or “sum sum” in Jola. It was my first served from a common dish. I ate from my pie-shaped section of the large bowl. It was chicken and vegetables on a large amount of rice. When through I patted my stomach and said “poin poin,” which is Jola for full stomach.

On the 13th page of my journal book was printed Philippians 4:8

“…whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

Thus I made this list by the verse:

·       Friendly, helpful co-workers

·       Friendly, helpful nationals

·       Sunshine and breeze

·       Beautiful sunset last night

·       Photo opportunities

·       Singing of tropical birds

·       Opportunity to witness on plane

·       Many opportunities to serve, witness, and be a part of three church-planting movements

·       New friendships

·       Free time

14 December 1999 – Tuesday

I spent the morning with Lee & Donelle looking at vision-action plans, and covenants. I will need to have my covenant with them to Al by January 25. As well as the facilitation one which is separate.

We had an enjoyable visit without too much structure, then went to lunch at a pizza place that was really good! I told them my life story.

I did very little reading before time to meet with all three of FCTs, Al, Gary and Tim. We covered a lot! From calendar to job description and the calendar is full through April. BF is a big job, taking a lot of time! I see now how hard it will be to make time for Jola work, but I will do it!  Good Night!

15 December 1999 – Wednesday

The day started with Al knocking on my door as I was getting out of shower. I went to the door with a towel wrapped around me at about 7:00 AM.

Hans Bols of WEC was leaving from his visit with children in school here and Al had just arranged for him to take my two footlockers back to Banjul. Glad to get that done! I will start getting up earlier tomorrow!

Much of the morning was spent with the Kauffman’s in Gary’s office and Tim sitting in some. We went over all the details of what needs to be done monthly in Bignona and Ziguinchor. There are several salaries to pay and maintenance to check on and bills to pay or provide money for Jules to pay. I will also need to treat the village house for termites. (This job gets bigger by the day!)

On the next page of the journal is printed 1 Corinthians 13:6-8,

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Beside that I wrote “This is how I want to work with those in the villages and Bignona! As well as in Banjul and Farafenni!

I had lunch with the Kauffman’s in my studio apartment. We had ham and cheese sandwiches.

They left and I read, then spent 3 hours on the internet reading and answering emails. It was kind of good to briefly be back in contact with “the old world,” but I don’t miss it nor have any interest in going back, just enjoy the emails!

Everyday I’m more convinced that this is what God wants me to do and where he wants me to be! I have learned that the job is BIG and could be overwhelming, yet I know God will not ask me to do more than I can handle. He is so good! And He knows that this job is just right for me – from the administration and detail work to the relationships with Jola people to driving a truck through the bush to the many villages! I can hardly wait to get started!

I probably would have gone down this evening or tomorrow if it were not for the Cluster 1 Christmas Party Friday night. They want me to be there and it will be a great opportunity to meet most of the missionaries. They then thought I would fly down Saturday, but there are no flights on Saturdays now, so it is Sunday night now when I fly to Banjul.

This change of plans can be good as I will have time to rest, be on the new time zone, and read some things which will be more difficult to find time for in Banjul, I imagine. So I look forward to this “down time” also. God is good!

It is 9:46 and I hope to be asleep by 10:00 and up by 6:30 in the morning. Praise God!

16 December 1999 – Thursday

I didn’t make it up until 7:30, but blaming that on me still adjusting to the new time zone. After all, this is 2:30 AM back in Nashville! And I’ve been going to sleep by 10 at night here which would be 5 PM in Nashville. Whew!

Reading, emailing and visiting with Mike Sweeney in the office was how I spent part of the time. I walked to the beach overlook and then the two miles to the lighthouse which has beautiful views. I had a sandwich lunch by myself and then dinner with the Hodges making it a very restful day. There was little planned and little done! Sometimes that is nice! And I’m trying not to feel guilty!

This page of the journal book has Psalm 23:1-3,

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”

I wrote: Amen! Praise God! From the creek trail at MLC to the ocean overlook a half block from here, the peace and power of God has been real!   🙂

17 December 1999 – Friday

I was awake by 6:00 and up by 6:30! Yay! I’m about on the GMT or Greenwich Mean Time which is the time zone here. Everywhere else is GMT +/- so maybe this is the real time!  🙂   I keep saying Nashville is 5 hours behind us, but I need to get on computer and know for sure and of course that changes with daylight savings time which they do not have here.

Last night the Austin’s and Kelly’s came in plus Ginny Sutin was to fly in. They are two neat families I will get to work with in Farafenni, though the Austin’s will be in language study in Dakar the first 6 months, January to June. The Corbitt’s will arrive today and in January they move from Farafenni to Lamin, about 10 miles out of Serrekunda, thus close to me. They will live in a rented house in a Mandinka compound with two Mandinka families. This is the new direction of the IMB work that really started here and is spreading to all regions.

This morning I walked to the ocean and mosque overlook again after reading 1 Thessalonians. It was a great morning quiet time with the beauty and power of God! And such a contrast to man’s world as the spot where I stand is the corner of a garbage dump – contrasted with the mighty ocean surf, the distant horizon, and a gorgeous sky. The water is dotted with hand carved tree canoes, brightly painted and many patient fishermen with fish nets. The beach had two runners working out, more canoes, and many little shanty houses just below the huge, expensive, tiled mosque in contrast. It reminded me of a faith that spends more on worthless buildings than people, but are we not also guilty of that as Christians? We must get the message of Christ to all these people. It’s a relationship!

I handled a phone message that Helen the maid is sick and will not be here today. I hope to do some good reading and organizing of ntoes today. Lunch will be with the Austin’s and dinner is the Cluster 1 Annual Christmas Party. I need a white elephant gift! I’ll write MORE LATER . . .

This page of the journal has Matthew 5:8,

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

I write: Oh God help me to be pure in heart!

I took army rations Tim provided me as a white elephant gift. It was fun and people actually traded for them. Mike Sweeney took them to have something to eat when he is in the village, where he lives much of the time. Then a lady took them from Mike to feed her cat she said! It was fun! I met lots of people, most of whose names I will probably not remember. I got acquainted with the Kelly’s and Corbitt’s who will be the only two families in The Gambia for several months. The Austin’s will be in Dakar for language study and the Kauffman’s on Stateside Assignment. The Hutchinson’s have resigned and will be leaving soon. So I will be facilitating fewer people at first, but still have to manage the empty houses and other facilities, like two centers and some vehicles.

It is Richard and Fran Kelly with Alex, Daniel, and Patrick. Then it is Otis and Geri Corbitt with Kenyon and Devon.

18 December 1999 – Saturday

It was a quiet morning and I slept until 8:00 AM. I had cereal with banana and then a croissant with coffee. I went down and visited with Otis, Kenyon and Devon. Then I updated yesterday’s journal above and had a devotional time. I hope to read a lot today and maybe walk to a place to eat lunch today – if not I have ham & cheese and bread here. Dinner tonight is with Tim & Jean Mahoney. I may get adventurous in walking around. I wish I had my camera and of course I need to read!

2:02 PM – I read some more in Boundaries, then visited with the Kelly’s and saw them off around 12:30. They are driving back to Farafenni. I walked about 2 kilometers to the Le Regal Restaurant. There I walked in on two MK teens, one a Baptist and the other with YWAM. I joined them for lunch and they translated for me. As I was ordering, the Corbitt’s walked out after their lunch and I spoke to them. So this must be a missionary hangout! It was an enjoyable lunch and then I walked back to the guest house where I am resting and will read some more.

Dinner with the Mahoney’s was both memorable and delicious! Tim picked me up and we stopped by a market for some veggies and fruit on the way to their house in Dakar. I began to get acquainted with Tim & Jeanne and their children, Emily, Melonie and Andrew. Then the big event happened! Andrew was playing on a trampoline in their back yard and he fell off and broke his arm! I went with Tim to take Andrew to a private hospital “Clinique de CAP” where he was x-rayed and then got a cast on his arm. Andrew was brave for age 10 and I enjoyed getting to know him and his Dad better. Andrew has the neatest French accent and was a delight to talk to at the hospital and at home. We had a late but wonderful dinner and I was back in my apartment by 10:37 and quickly to bed.

19 December 1999 – Sunday

I was up by 7:30ish and ate all the leftover stuff for breakfast. Cleaned the kitchen and stripped the bed. I had most things packed for the flight before Gary picked me up for worship. I had thought we were going to a Wolof church, but I heard wrong. It was a special worship for all of the Wolof Team at the Yoff Center where we had the party Friday night. It was well-planned and really good worship service. The music and theme was the star of Christmas. The message from Jeremiah was about the only righteousness we can ever have is the righteousness of Jesus. They ended the service with the song “Shine On Jesus” as we all lit sparklers. We had to stop after two of the three verses because the room filled with smoke. But it was still nice!

Lunch was on the point of Dakar peninsula with ocean on three sides with nice views and good food!

FLIGHT TO BANJUL

Back at the guest house I finished packing and checked my email in the office. Then Tim took me to the airport. Tim was perturbed by the slowness of Senegal Air getting me checked in because he wanted to take a nap. But he finally got me in with only 8,000 Francs charge for excess baggage weight. He was pleased that it was no more. I think that it is about $10 or so in dollar comparison. He made some of the Gambians mad by trying to break in line. I have made it through everything to the loading gate with a little feeling of embarrassment sitting with all these people who were ahead of me. But it will be okay.

The majority had gotten off an earlier flight from Saudi Arabia, possibly to visit Mecca for Ramadan. There is one obvious Arab among all the Africans. So far I am the only white person waiting to go to Banjul.

Today has been the worst Harmattan day this week, which is winds blowing from the north, meaning  a lot of dust and sand in the air. We could not see downtown from the hill and the houses and hills on the other side of the runways are mostly shielded by dust in the air. My apartment had dust on everything, but then that was most of the week. I’m hoping that the sea breezes in Fajara will keep much of the dust away from the house and office. We’ll see. Everyone says I will need a maid at least two times a week to keep my house clean and that she can cook some of my meals. I’ll work that out with Lynn tomorrow or sometime this week.

Mike and Lynn Hutchison are to meet me at the airport tonight. I plan to finish this journal tonight and start back on the computer journal tomorrow.

-o-

COMMENT: I’m not sure about “the computer journal” but in 2010 this is all I found for 1999 as the above filled a whole journal book, handwritten. The next handwritten journal begins in March 2000 but I did find computer journals for January & February which are included in the next volume.

-o-

FROM MEMORY: The big memory from this first flight to Banjul in the above entry was the very large Gambian woman who sat next to me on the plane. She was returning from a Hajj to Mecca which she had done several times and showed me all her rings and told me a little about it. She was so large that she overlapped into my seat. It was an uncomfortable but short flight of about 30-40 minutes I think.

FINALLY IN THE GAMBIA

The Hutchison family was simply wonderful and I was quickly very sad they were leaving because of philosophical differences with IMB or the West Africa Region. They oriented me and had me for Christmas along with their senior adult ISC teacher of their children. The first week was so nice and the kids had made welcome signs at the big house where I stayed at first because the teacher was in the apartment. The Hutchison’s ended up working with Africans in Paris through the moderate Baptist Fellowship.

I can find no more 1999 journal entries. Mike was the one who got me started in my job, the office and all. Sometime after Christmas or I guess in January they were gone. My first disappointment was to lose the Hutchison’s.

30 December 1999
Newsletter #2:

From Charlie in The Gambia
A Prayer Newsletter for the Jola People
30 December 1999

Your Prayers Answered: My House is Sold!

I received the email from my realtor Christmas Eve that the closing was set for Monday, 27 December. And it did close! Hallelujah! Thanks to the Lord and Mandy for the best Christmas gift!

New Prayer Requests:

DEWEY in Idaho Falls, Idaho is a Mormon businessman. I shared Christ with him on the Atlanta flight. He asked questions and is “thinking about it.” Pray that others will water and cultivate this seed!

BEN A. PARKER was beside me on the flight from Brussels to Dakar. He is from London, England, my age, divorced for 10 years like me, and now a friend. I was watering and cultivating the witness his evangelical girl friend is providing. Ben said, “This is strange that you would sit beside me after all Rebecca has been saying to me.” My reply: “I believe it was a divine appointment!” He had lots of questions and we talked about Christ off and on for 6 hours! Rebecca will not marry him unless he becomes a Christian. He too is “thinking about it.”

EBRIMA SANYANG is my relief guard for the other 6 guards at our 3 Baptist properties. Friday he was handed a Watchtower geared to African Muslims. He asked me about it. I took the approach that we Baptists are a “people of The Book” (a phrase in the Koran) and that some, like Seventh Day Adventist, added to The Book. As I began to talk about Jesus, he declined to talk further.

Muslims are taught not to talk about faith with Christians. I also forgot to use “Esa” instead of “Jesus,” which is the Arabic name for Jesus in the Qur’an. I am now saying that “I am a follower of Esa.” as I talk with people.

BOY DIES NEXT DOOR to me on Christmas day near midnight. A poor family lives in the incomplete compound in exchange for guarding it. They have 11 children and the 14 year old boy died. Sunday after worship I prayed with the mother and children in the name of Esa. The father was out digging the grave. Muslims must be buried before the next sunset after death. Pray that my contact will open the door for continued witness.

8 Days in Dakar, Merci!

My first week in Africa was with my supervisor and the Financial Facilitator for Cluster 1 (Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau) in orientation to my BF work plus orientation from the Kauffman’s on the Jola team I am a part of.

But I felt like I was in France! French is the official language of Senegal, with Wolof secondary. Wow! Enjoyed the missionary Christmas party & a Wolof team worship along with everything else!

First Week in The Gambia:

The Mike & Lynn Hutchinson family has been my wonderful and gracious hosts here. It has been especially fun being “Uncle Charlie” to their bright and well-behaved children Max, William, and Virginia and to have Christmas dinner and gift exchanges with them!

Since some have already asked, yes, this is the Mike Hutchison about whom an erroneous prayer request is still floating around concerning his auto accident with a Muslim boy. He was not hanged, as the email implied, and has been cleared by the government. But the sad thing for me is that they have resigned from IMB and will go back to the states January 13.

They have been orienting me to the job, office, personnel, and the Baptist properties in the Banjul area. They have also driven me around to the places to do business, shop, and eat! I drive myself now! Lynn has been serving as the “part-time” interim Business Facilitator.

Final Three Pieces of Luggage

As I left Richmond, a legalistic Delta/Sabena agent assisted me. He refused three of my excess bags, which caused me to hustle, with Ron Hunt’s help, and get them shipped airfreight on December 10. They finally arrived Dec. 23 and picking them up was a comedy of African bureaucracy!

I drove the bumpy 30 miles to the airport and spent an hour getting my three bags. To the window with a clerk, then to the inside office to get the first papers which took three people and “That will be 164 Dalasis please!” (Handling fee of about US $16)  Then out the gate where for 75 Dalasis, a two finger typist types up a Customs Form for me. I take that back to the office; “please go to Window 3.” I get quadruplicate copies of paper at each stop, including window one, back inside, then back out to Window 3, then Window 2, then to the shed where the customs agent signed most of the papers and sent me to Window 5 to have the official stamp put on every piece of paper! Then pages removed at Window 2 where I pay an 85 Dalasis Documentation Fee. “Please see the Customs Officers under the shed.” By then my three bags are there! One officers does something with my big pile of papers while two others open all three bags, going through everything! Even counting my used videotapes! There is no customs charge! Just those handling fees!

Post Office packages are easier than air freight, but take longer to get here! My trial package took 2 months.

How I Know I’m in Africa:

I go to bed with the beat of African drums and many tropical birds. I wake up at 5:00 each morning to roosters crowing and Muslim prayer calls! I brush my teeth with bottled water and have already forgotten what a smooth road is like! And what’s so special about dinner by candlelight! Yesterday’s electric outage was for 24 hours. Blown my computer surge protector twice, and I’ve eaten things I know not! Love it!

Jola People

Well, said I would tell you about Jolas this issue, but no room! Really will next time! I can say that 6 of my 7 guards are Jola, so as I learn the language I will practice on them! My compound assistant & maid are both Fula.

Charlie

New! Home phone 220+37.06.98

Office phone 20+37.40.51

ibgambia@gamtel.gm  Office

See the  PHOTOCOPY OF THE ORIGINAL NEWSLETTER   above with artwork.

Go to the next set of Journals, Volume 3, 2000-2002 Journal (Gambia & The Return to Nash