Fass Chamen

Now in Fass Chamen, the nursery school built by Lorenzo and Correcaminos, a group of runners who one day 4 years ago, said let’s stop doing and start doing something. Our visit to Fass Chamen was the highlight of our trip to Gambia: just sitting in the school keeper’s family compound, having lunch with a school teacher and watching the activities in the compound:

  • the woman sifting the peanuts and calmly whacking a stick on the ground whenever a goat would start investigating the peanut sack
  • a chicken who’d found a few loose peanuts protecting his turf against a goat by flying up and pecking him.
  • the little boys eating with their hands out of our common bowl of rice and a peanut sauce on top. We got spoons.
  • the women eating separately
  • the man joking about taking on Janna, my niece, as a second wife. The first wife there said no problem.
  • watching the woman hoist the baby to her back and wrapping him tight.
  • watching the vultures swoop down to the compound, then swooping away again.

Janna and I sat in for a bit on the classes before doing some tutoring. I was amazed how the classes proceeded: all call and response, repeating songs, then some clapping. No pencils or notebooks were used. By the second day, we figured out what to tutor: practice writing letters and numbers.