Final Gambia Briefing

Report
Gambia 2014
Pre-Expedition Briefing
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19 days to go!

All that hard work over the last 18 months.

There is still some hard work to do when we get there but lots of
things to see and fun to have.

Most importantly we need a safe trip!

So listen up to
IT’S NEARLY HERE!
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11 Leaders

9 Networkers

21 explorers

41 in total
PARTICIPANTS
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Friday 25th July

Southend meet at White Horse Pub at 0900hrs

Hornchurch meet at Upminster Methodist Church at 1000hrs

Flight leaves Gatwick at 15.15hrs – bring money for lunch at the
airport.

Saturday 9th August - overnight from Friday 8th – lands 04.45hrs,
coach back to Upminster / Southend – approximately 07.30-08.30hrs.
DATES / TRAVEL

Friday 25th – land 20.40hrs – transfer to Senegambia Hotel (coast) – 1 night
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Saturday – get vehicles, get equipment, water, fuel - drive to Basse
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Saturday 26th to Sunday 3rd August –Basse Hotel – 9 nights
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Sunday 27th – Final plans and equipment for projects, visit sites, meet dignitaries.
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Mon-Sun - Education, Health Centre, Building, Scout Skills projects
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Sunday 3rd – farewell campfire with Basse Scouts
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Monday drive to Soma (Scott and Nick to airport)
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Monday 4th August - Scout B&B in Soma – 1 night
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Tuesday drive to coast
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Tuesday 5th August to Thursday 7th August – Senegambia Hotel – 3 nights.

Thursday river cruise

Friday evening transfer to airport
TIMETABLE
WHERE AGAIN?
Vehicles –

2 x 14 seaters with roof rack, 1 x 8 seater, 1 x 7 seater.
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Accommodation in Basse & Soma (Kairo Konko Scout Centre)

?River cruise back at coast
WHAT’S BOOKED?

School – children and teachers

Scouting skills – Scouts and Leaders
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Hospital – Facilities (Networkers)
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Building – Sun-shelter – training room
PROJECTS

Southend have hit their fundraising (£4500) and grant targets (£2250 and made
£2000 for buy-a-brick.

Hornchurch have made fundraising (£16000) but not Grant target (£8000 –
currently £2600 short), also have made £2000 for buy-a-brick.

Hornchurch participants who have not applied for a grant need to pay £50 extra,
participants who have not done individual fundraising need to pay £50 extra (so
£100 for those who have no grant and no individual fundraising.
FUNDRAISING

Hierachial – Village Chief - Alkalo

Families – live in compounds
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Male led
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Time to talk!

Love photographs
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Currency - Dalasi
GAMBIAN CULTURE
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Moderate Islamist - pray 5 x day.

Friday prayers most important

Ramadan – fasting for 6 weeks – Eid Mubarak on Tuesday 29th
July.

5-10% Christian
RELIGION

Mandinka 42%

Fula 18%
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Wolof 16%

Jola 10%

Serahule 9%

Multi party democracy since 1965

Only 2 presidents – this one since 1994

Left Commonwealth 2013
TRIBAL GROUPINGS
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Common for men to hold hands as they walk down the street or
as they show you around their house!
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Prolonged hand shaking – not left hand!
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Lack of public displays of affection.
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Generally stay covered up – OK in tourist areas.
HAND HOLDING / CLOTHING
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They will use English in a slightly different fashion – used to the
words but not phrases.
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May not maintain eye contact.

Tsssss!
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Toubab!
PHRASES

Homosexuality – illegal!
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Not acknowledged as even existing by older members of society.
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FGM – female genital mutilation (80%)
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Polygamy
CONTENTIOUS ISSUES
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We will be very visible in the Gambia – we will representing the UK, Scouting as
well as our districts and Groups.
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Therefore behaviour must be excellent at all times.
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We must be patient and humble in someone else’s country.

There will be sometime to’chill out’!
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When we travel to airport and for flights we will wear our Gambia polo shirts and
UK scarves.
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When we travel long distances in Gambia we will wear out Scout uniform shirts
and UK scarves – this will help us look smart and help us through security checks.

The police and army will not respect us just because we are British – they will
respect us if we are polite and respectful.

Army checkpoints are to stop drug smuggling – they probably won’t search us but
be prepared to open out all your bags.
UK AMBASSADORS

Copies to pick up today – previously circulated.

We are asking all participants to buy a compass and bring it in their bag to
give to a Gambian Scout as part of the Scouting skills project.

Up to £150 personal spending money – can change up on arrival.

Don’t forget personal medications.

Bring anti-malarials and everyone to bring 12-24 tablets of Loperamide.

Try to share chargers for electronic devices – UK plugs are ok (sockets vary
but most UK style).

Sleeping bag cotton liner

Put penknife in main bag.
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Toiletries in main bag (try to get travel toiletries where possible)
KIT LIST
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Soft bags only – rucsac or holdall type.
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Locked with a small lock – either combination or key.
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Labelled please.

No more than 18 kilos (weight limit is 20 kilos but we need some
spare for shared luggage like first aid / emergency medical kit.

If you are wearing hike boots then wear onto plane.
LUGGAGE

Linda Thorogood is our Home Contact

She is Deputy District Commissioner for Hornchurch.

She will have a copy of the participant forms, timetable, hotel
details, contact details and a copy of passports.

If you need to contact us please go through Linda and viceversa we will contact you through Linda if required.

Adam will circulate her contact details via e-mail.

We will update the website with pictures and blog everyday
where internet connection allows so check www.ghisp.org.uk
HOME CONTACT

Keep money safe – use safes in hotel rooms.

Use wallet with security cord or money belt.

In the tourist areas there will be ‘bumsters’ who may try to scam
you.

You can barter for souvenirs.

Non-tourist areas like Basse will be slightly safer.

However take care who you give your details like home address
and e-mail too – the Gambians will think they have made a
friend for life!
MONEY SAFETY

The biggest health risk is malaria – carried by anopheles species of mosquito, is a
protozoan – lives in red blood cells, feel unwell when parasite level reaches 0.1% 15-20 returning travellers die from malaria each year in UK.

4 ways to prevent :

1. Take anti-malarial tablets – daily at breakfast – 2 days before we go and 7 days
after return.

2. Use insect repellent – apply about 5pm each day.

3. Wear long trousers and long sleeves if possible in the evening.

4. Mosquito nets – we will all take although it is likely the hotel rooms may already
have them fitted.

If you are unwell with a fever within 3 months of returning then you should be
checked for malaria.

There are different types of malaria parasite – some can take longer to develop.
MALARIA
EBOLA

Dengue fever / yellow fever– also via mosquito bites.

Hepatitis A – we should be covered.

Typhoid – immunisation about 70% effective.
INFECTIOUS DISEASE

It is likely no matter how careful we are that most people will get
some diarrhoea.

Important to tell Adam when you have it – Loperamide will
usually control it.

Avoid local water – wash teeth with bottled water, avoid ice.

Good handwashing and alcohol gel washes.

Mainly will be –’tropical sprue’.

Important to avoid dehydration.
GASTROENTERITIS
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Hot weather
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Diarrhoea
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Access to bottled water
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All factors in causing dehydration.
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Look at colour of urine!
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Dark urine - dehydration.
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Light or clear urine – well hydrated.
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Rehydration salts (dioralyte) maybe required.
DEHYDRATION
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Rabies is endemic in Gambia.
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Rabies is zoonotic viral infection.
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Dogs, monkeys, bats most likely source.
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Please avoid approaching animals even if they seem friendly.

Avoiding animal bites is the key to avoiding rabies.

Treatment would mean immediate transfer to Banjul and back to UK in the event of a bite.

Long incubation phase, currently worldwide shortage of vaccines.
RABIES
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Relatively low rates of HIV in Gambia – 3-5%.

Hepatitis B – higher – 15-20%
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Hepatitis C – 5-10%

Only a risk through exposure to blood or other bodily fluids.

Use gloves in health centre or for first aid.

Avoid sexual contact.

Some people have full hepatitis B cover.
HEP B / HEP C / HIV

There are poisonous insects and other animals in the Gambia.

Check shoes when putting on.

Otherwise avoid touching or approaching anything!

Ask a local if you are interested in knowing if they are safe or not.

Feet are the most risk areas so wear shoes or boots at all times,
unless at the hotel.
SNAKES / SPIDERS / SCORPIONS
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Sunblock

Avoiding the midday sun – rest period from 1-3pm.

Care with neck and shoulders.

Most care at hotel /at coast.

Average daytime temp 30deg, nighttime 23deg.

Will be more humid in Basse compared to coast.

Start of rainy season so episodes of heavy rain are possible.
AVOIDING SUNBURN

Passport / yellow fever certificate

Antimalarials
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Uniform and scarf

This should be an amazing experience – take some time to take it all in if you
can – you may remember smells and sounds of Africa more than you
remember the images.

Listen and talk to the locals – find out how they live everyday – show some
interest in them and they will treat you with great warmth.

Let a leader know if you are unhappy about anything – there will be a few
tough days as it’s not all sightseeing – tell a friend, tell a leader, tell someone!
DON’T FORGET

Pick up Mosquito nets, UK scarf and UK badge

15 people to get anti-malarials (stock delayed) – to start 2 days
before departure.

Sign permission forms (under 18 – parents to sign).
TO SORT TODAY

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