A journey through The Gambia

A journey through The Gambia

Hey! This is Magdalena (and friends), and I’m representing Chile on this global team of people passionate about bringing sight to The Gambia.

A journey through The Gambia
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Thankfully we’ve made it to Farafenni, and are about to go to sleep tonight before jumping fully into our work tomorrow.

Just to quickly recap: we started the day with some nice breakfast and then with a briefing from our in-country partners at Sightsavers. It’s amazing to hear all of their commitment to The Gambia and to finally be here and be join with them. Around midday we began our trip to Farafeni after overcoming some technical difficulties with the bus door…some bungee cords and ingenuity took care of it.

It was about a six hour commute from Banjul to Farafenni, and our drive took us through villages with intense dry heat, giant elephant trees, and more than a few bumps from the dirt road. Napping was a common pastime on the bus.

Eventually we reached the main river that cuts The Gambia in two, and after waiting for the ferry to reach shore, we jumped ahead of the 50-60 semi’s waiting in line and took off across the beautiful river.

After arriving in Farafenni, we toured the Vision center at the hospital, and heard first hand of the work that’s been taking place in preparation of our launch. One of the stories that stood out was how our local Gambians had been recruited to serve as Optical Leads in the villages surrounding Farafenni. 

Apparently many of the village leaders were asked to recommend someone who was capable, respected, and could be entrusted with the job of helping their own community see. You can imagine the pride these folks take in their jobs when the leader of the village identifies you as the person for the job! We can’t wait to meet these folks tomorrow, as we start their training (among all the other things taking place).

Its getting very late here, so I’m signing off for the night. Best wishes to all back home, and we look forward to representing OneSight and Luxottica in this important work. Good night!

Published on Apr 17 2013