Stourbridge News:

TODAY, some people on the Friday Trip went to Half Dye School and some went to the Special School.

We were part of the group that went to the Special School. Having went yesterday, we had already met some of the children.

It was amazing to walk back in and for some of them to recognise us; they are all so lovely and friendly!

At the Special School we played football, coloured, danced to music, made crowns and played with bubbles. Seeing their reactions to the bubbles made us very happy!

The conditions of the school shocked us because it was so basic. Those children deserve so much better.

Despite this all the children are all extremely positive and made us all feel very welcome. They are all so appreciative for what they have, even though it isn't a lot.

This afternoon, we went to Nena's for batik and tiedie. We learnt how to do batik and made our own batik designs - it was quite tricky.

While our batiks were being dyed, we got to look at and buy some of the things that Nena was selling. All the tiedye and batik things she sold were beautiful!

We also had the chance to pay for one of our tops to be tiedyed or batik'd. We had our tops tiedyed and we can't wait to see the result of them when we get them back.

We really enjoyed today and are looking forward to our last couple of days in The Gambia!

Sophie Jones and Melanie Thomas

IT’S Tuesday afternoon and it's all quiet in the African Village hotel - the Tuesday group have left for their flight home (the remaining party can take their ear defenders out now).

They were sad to be leaving, but looking forward to getting back to their creature comforts.

Before they left, they thought about some of the memories they will be taking home.

In no particular order, here's a selection of some of the most treasured moments of their trip:

  • A Gambian style assembly at Half Dye School, concluding with a dance where everyone came together to throw their best shapes.
  • The ice-cream parlour - slurpolicious!
  • Everything about Nena's - the activities, the food, the Gampants!
  • Painting the medical centre at Sintet, and the joy of finding a real toilet, even though it didn't flush.
  • The annual Ridgewood v Sintet (England v Gambia) football match: Ridgewood 8 Sintet 5.
  • The chaotic plumbing, including a cracked pipe that turns a bathroom into a paddling pool!
  • The dancing crocodile at the hotel The dancing bush at Sintet LEE!
  • Lee's roommate: Dave the lizard. Don't worry Lee, he's moved on.
  • Iain's rendition of Bronski Beat's 'Why' on the way back from Paradise Beach.
  • Rosie's karaoke Mrs Hodt being attacked by a branch Ian the scientist for being a legend, teaching us about Physics, and his jokes.
  • Teaching the children Duck, Duck Goose at Half Dye school.
  • Supermarket sweep Seeing inside the homes at Kotusilo, and handing out mosquito nets.
  • The Gambian sunrise
  • And finally, Sam Purslow, playing it cool: "Sintet was alright."

Have a safe journey home Tuesday group.