Monday, 8 April 2013

In Senegal

I arrived in Senegal today. I was sad to leave behind my friends, especially knowing that I may not see them for a long time and possibly never again in Gambia. However, I was excited to start this next part of my trip.

Again I was concerned about arriving in Dakar on my own. I had been told that I would be met at the airport by World Vision but that had sounded a bit vague. I didn't know quite what I would do if there wasn't anyone there and wasn't confident that there would be. Again I prayed and again I just knew that whatever happened it would all work out.

I got on the plane - free seating. I saw that everyone had sat with one person at the window and one in the aisle seat. There were few enough passengers to do this so I walked down the plane with my eye on the next free seat and sat down next to...

A World Vision staff worker from Sierra Leone on his way to Mali.

He was wonderful and we had a chat about the work of World Vision, naturally, and sponsored children in particular. We arrived in Dakar, I went to one passport queue and he went in the Africa queue. My queue was particularly slow and his wasn't so by the time I arrived at baggage he was gone and I was disappointed. I collected my bag, walked out hoping to see my name on a board as there was for many other passengers.

Nothing. No sign of WV anywhere, either my fellow passenger or for me.

I walked outside the airport still hopeful and there he was. Waiting. He smiled and waved me over.

"There was nobody waiting for you so I came to see if there was anyone outside but I was told by that man there (pointing to the taxi rank manager of sorts) that there was a WV taxi but as our plane was late (by half an hour) it left. I will see what I can do."

And he did. Eventually he found a WV staff member waiting somewhere else at the airport for a group of 20 delegates for a meeting and between them they got me a taxi and sent me on my way. Wonderful.

So here I am, rested, showered, fed and the remainder of the group have just arrived via Spain. Tomorrow morning we will walk to the WV office which is five minutes away to meet and greet. We will be doing a lot of meeting and greeting this week. Then we will drive to the hotel nearer to the development areas to see the results of our sponsorship.

I am very excited. 

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