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Gambia 2014 Pre-Expedition Briefing. IT’S NEARLY HERE!  19 days to go!  All that hard work over the last 18 months.  There is still some hard work.

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Presentation on theme: "Gambia 2014 Pre-Expedition Briefing. IT’S NEARLY HERE!  19 days to go!  All that hard work over the last 18 months.  There is still some hard work."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gambia 2014 Pre-Expedition Briefing

2 IT’S NEARLY HERE!  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

3 PARTICIPANTS  11 Leaders  9 Networkers  21 explorers  41 in total

4 DATES / TRAVEL  Friday 25 th 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 9 th August - overnight from Friday 8th – lands 04.45hrs, coach back to Upminster / Southend – approximately 07.30-08.30hrs.

5 TIMETABLE  Friday 25 th – land 20.40hrs – transfer to Senegambia Hotel (coast) – 1 night  Saturday – get vehicles, get equipment, water, fuel - drive to Basse  Saturday 26 th to Sunday 3 rd August –Basse Hotel – 9 nights  Sunday 27 th – Final plans and equipment for projects, visit sites, meet dignitaries.  Mon-Sun - Education, Health Centre, Building, Scout Skills projects  Sunday 3 rd – farewell campfire with Basse Scouts  Monday drive to Soma (Scott and Nick to airport)  Monday 4 th August - Scout B&B in Soma – 1 night  Tuesday drive to coast  Tuesday 5 th August to Thursday 7 th August – Senegambia Hotel – 3 nights.  Thursday river cruise  Friday evening transfer to airport


7 WHAT’S BOOKED? Vehicles –  2 x 14 seaters with roof rack, 1 x 8 seater, 1 x 7 seater.  Accommodation in Basse & Soma (Kairo Konko Scout Centre)  ?River cruise back at coast

8 PROJECTS  School – children and teachers  Scouting skills – Scouts and Leaders  Hospital – Facilities (Networkers)  Building – Sun-shelter – training room



11 FUNDRAISING  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.

12 GAMBIAN CULTURE  Hierachial – Village Chief - Alkalo  Families – live in compounds  Male led  Time to talk!  Love photographs  Currency - Dalasi

13 RELIGION  Moderate Islamist - pray 5 x day.  Friday prayers most important  Ramadan – fasting for 6 weeks – Eid Mubarak on Tuesday 29 th July.  5-10% Christian

14 TRIBAL GROUPINGS  Mandinka 42%  Fula 18%  Wolof 16%  Jola 10%  Serahule 9%  Multi party democracy since 1965  Only 2 presidents – this one since 1994  Left Commonwealth 2013

15 HAND HOLDING / CLOTHING  Common for men to hold hands as they walk down the street or as they show you around their house!  Prolonged hand shaking – not left hand!  Lack of public displays of affection.  Generally stay covered up – OK in tourist areas.

16 PHRASES  They will use English in a slightly different fashion – used to the words but not phrases.  May not maintain eye contact.  Tsssss!  Toubab!

17 CONTENTIOUS ISSUES  Homosexuality – illegal!  Not acknowledged as even existing by older members of society.  FGM – female genital mutilation (80%)  Polygamy

18 UK AMBASSADORS  We will be very visible in the Gambia – we will representing the UK, Scouting as well as our districts and Groups.  Therefore behaviour must be excellent at all times.  We must be patient and humble in someone else’s country.  There will be sometime to’chill out’!  When we travel to airport and for flights we will wear our Gambia polo shirts and UK scarves.  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.

19 KIT LIST  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.  Toiletries in main bag (try to get travel toiletries where possible)

20 LUGGAGE  Soft bags only – rucsac or holdall type.  Locked with a small lock – either combination or key.  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.

21 HOME CONTACT  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 vice- versa 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

22 MONEY SAFETY  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!

23 MALARIA  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.


25 INFECTIOUS DISEASE  Dengue fever / yellow fever– also via mosquito bites.  Hepatitis A – we should be covered.  Typhoid – immunisation about 70% effective.

26 GASTROENTERITIS  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.

27 DEHYDRATION  Hot weather  Diarrhoea  Access to bottled water  All factors in causing dehydration.  Look at colour of urine!  Dark urine - dehydration.  Light or clear urine – well hydrated.  Rehydration salts (dioralyte) maybe required.

28 RABIES  Rabies is endemic in Gambia.  Rabies is zoonotic viral infection.  Dogs, monkeys, bats most likely source.  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.

29 HEP B / HEP C / HIV  Relatively low rates of HIV in Gambia – 3-5%.  Hepatitis B – higher – 15-20%  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.

30 SNAKES / SPIDERS / SCORPIONS  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.

31 AVOIDING SUNBURN  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.

32 DON’T FORGET  Passport / yellow fever certificate  Antimalarials  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!

33 TO SORT TODAY  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).

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