January. Time for another trip to Bailor time to visit Namina and her family. One of my good friends Osman, his friend Gibril and I left my place at 7am to catch the 8am ferry. The trip went as planned and by 930 we had Saidu (Namina's older brother), Namina, her aunty and a cousin with us in the car. About an hour or so later, we drove into Bailor town and as usualwe were warmly received.
(Gibril, myself, Saidu and the kids)
The children loved it that we came and before we knew it we were walking along the beach with a trail of children behind us. Osman and Gibril quickly turned the whole day into an outing for the children. They were great. I was really impressed to see how much they engaged with the kids and did everything they could to make this day great for them. I have some amazing friends here. From buying them oranges, to passing out biscuits, to showing them sports magazines, to organizing a dance competition and buying juice for them. Fun fun fun. Everyone had a good time.
(Me and the kids enjoying some 'down' time)
The only embarassing moment was when a 1 year old fell asleep on my lap and ended up peeing on me! Fortunately I always bring a bag of clothes for Namina's mom and so I quickly found myself changing into some of the clothes I had brought for her. Never mind, these things happen.
(Osman, myself, Saidu, Namina in yellow shirt and many other little people)
Namina looked great and seemed very happy. The other children seemed to take well to her and enjoy her company. I think it was a bit overwhelming for Namina, since she now spends most of her time in Lungi, where she lives with her big brother and aunty and attends primary school. I think the combination of seeing her mom again (who she is very close to), all of her friends around, attention from Osman, Gibril and I, etc. was maybe a bit much. But she did really seem to enjoy it.
(myself, Saidu, Namina and her siblings and cousins)
Her mom, Wara, also seemed quite content. It seems she has come to terms with the loss of her one year old at the end of last year. I have to say, Wara continues to inspire me - her courage, perseverance and care for others is always so apparent. Wara introduced me to her brother's daughters - two-month old twins - one named Wara (after their aunty) and one names Sandra (after me). I'm not sure what that is going to mean, but it seemed like a sweet gesture. All in all, we had a fantastic day. I'm already looking forward to our next visit to Bailor town!
(myself and Wara)