“Is that the runner talking outside?” I asked Kebba opening my one eye and stretching up “yes she is the very one” Kebba replied.. wow!! I said to myself as I hear Jen and Mama Cie giggle. Outside. When I went out all set for the start of the day I looked into their eyes and shook their hand as it’s normally done in the Gambia and said good morning, they happily replied back with tired faces. Looking back at the run from day one to today I came in agreement with myself that yes they are tired but again once we get to that starting point and the usual pictures are taken and the run begins one can just tell how much committed this young lady is in raising funds for the Children of my country through the Peer Health Education Program of the Nova Scotia Gambia Association (NSGA).
Back to the run here.. 🙂 Before the start of the run, I got an expected punishment from the queen of the day today Jennifer who is now becoming my positive opposition for trying to get Egwee (Kebba) in trouble (its routine that we have a king or a queen appointed everyday to have the final say or make decisions for 24 hour). She put different Gels, (peanut butter and raspberry flavored) in bread and asks me to eat it all ☹ I had no choice but to helplessly eat it whiles my usual opposition on the trip Spiderman and Jen happily laugh and take photos with Mama Cie trying to sit on the fence with Kebba. I tell you what I will have my day on them too and that will be soon, watch out for the upcoming blogs and you will find that out. Shhhh… 😉
Before we started the run, we were meet by a police officer on a bike who introduced himself and said he is assigned to escort us through busy the town of Soma. He was on his bike, lights and the double signal on and asking the vehicles passing to slow down, what a relief knowing there is a big market day today and we will be passing a lot of vehicles to and from this big market day. Well here we go we ran into the big town of soma in grand style, I said grand style because it is.. check this out.. Imagine been escorted by a police car, police bike, students, teacher coordinator waving banners saying ‘thank you Jen’ , ‘The peer Health Educators welcome you to Soma’ all in appreciation of the great job been done by the team here, people standing by the road and waving whiles the group sings and run through the town. I do tell Jen that she is the celeb here and she will always smile back and say No Pa, I must say Jen is just a Human being and we having a great run together. Let me join other Gambian and non Gambians alike who believe in this cause to say a big thank you to Jen for running to save lives here, I tell you what she will always come back and say it’s the TEAM!! That’s just how much this means to her, am sorry Jen but again thank you!! ☺. Mama Cie, I see you!!! Abaraka babakeh, jerejef, jarama!! Means thank you in Mandinka,wollof and fulla respectively.
Our 20k mark took us out of Soma toward the village of Kiaf where we had a rest under a big Baobab tree but before getting top this spot, we had to get ourselves through the construction workers who are working on the road to Soma and am happy to report again that we will be running on tarmac road to Banjul!!! BANJUL CALLING!! Under the big baobab tree we rested but not without Jen troubling me again with Mama Cie as well enjoying their time on me but again watch out people I will get them soon… I have to share this with you, Spider got a coke in his camelback and added some water according to him to help him fuel up easily but he has no idea that the small ants will be feasting on him during the rest time due to the sugar content of the coke. As he lies down to relax, I realize there are more than a hundred small ants glued to his back enjoying the spilt coke on his back now this is where it gets funny I just got up and surprisingly said spider watch out u gat something on your back and Kebba said don’t turn around and that got spider thinking it’s something that’s gonna harm him and u should see the samba dance he was trying on the mat asking me to help!! That’s to show again that he is my son and he needs me to rescue him from when he is in trouble..Hahaha ☺ sorry Spider!! Erin am still Dad so be on ma side Jen is following
The last 5K was a quick one as the horse as I call them (Jen and Kebba) get the run look so easy to anyone seeing it on picture or video knowing its very hot and dusty at this last 5K. We finally got there and its right at the start of the new tarmac road meaning we will be on the tarmac right up to Banjul!!!! Today will be our last night here as we will be moving on to sleep in Kalagi river side by tomorrow after the run. We are now on 257KMs!!!! and going strong. Every step is getting us closer to Banjul.
As a young Gambian working with the NSGA a decade now in virtually all schools and communities in the Gambia and with Love4Gambia run back in 2011 to date, I believe there couldn’t be anyone to better appreciate how much this run is helping in the Gambia than me and the Love4Gambian team here (Kebba and Spider). I have witness all three runners run from Koina to Banjul and this is huge for me to see someone come far from home just to run 424km under extreme conditions to save lives!! This needs to be supported by everyone. I salute all the runners and those of you who are supporting this cause to keep it up and if you just know about us, you can join us in saving the lives of thousands of young people in my beloved country The Gambia by donating!!
JOTNA!! As in its time in the local Wollof Language. Jen will happily explain this in her next blog!!
(Pictures to be added once we have faster internet!!!)