About

Paul Wildenberg
[portret]
You're going to The Gambia and you're an IT professional, so you are expected to have at least a Weblog. So, here it is! And the title? Oh well....

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+ 144 - 133 | § Team Wildenberg

www.teamwildenberg.nl
My brother and his bike!

+ 142 - 137 | § Microsoft

Microsoft Learning

+ 157 - 110 | § Gambia

The Gambia

+ 140 - 148 | § gambia.pagina.nl

gambia.pagina.nl

+ 131 - 145 | § Africa for beginners

www.africaforbeginners.com Africa for beginners

+ 151 - 132 | § Fairgroundsessions

www.fairgroundsessions.nl

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Last Comments

Paul (Hackers!!): ff testen oftie het doet.
markwilde (At home ...): How is the wheather doing? Already in the raining s…
Paul (At home ...): Fortunately for me the honda is still with me!
Marcel (At home ...): Did they get the honda or not? You kinda failed men…
Mark (Donation): Ik zie dat jullie maar het grote computer lokaal ge…
Robert Gerritsen (De familie): Leuk verhaal hoor!
mark (Lang leve de Koni…): Only fluids, the docter said ;-). Met als gevolg ee…
myra (Family): Ik schaam me dood! Toen sven hier was van de week, …
Mark (Immigration): Dat geeft hoop voor ons bezoek ;-). Nog twee dagen …
mark (ID-Card): NEEEEEHHHHH, ik wil niet op de 7-de april jarig zij…

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§ Home

After all the goodbye parties, it is time to actually leave. To say goodbye is never easy. I have a hard time to keep my eyes dry when I'm leaving the compound, say goodbye to all the neighbours and aunty Sally... one last look at the gate and there we go. Alie is the driver to bring us to the airport. I am not allone. Augusta, Beau (men), Sang and Mr. Ceesay (my Boss!) are coming too.
At the airport after check-in, there is some time left for a last Julbrew. Then Stephen appears! He also wanted to say goodbye. Men........ To leave like this is really great! And really hard! When it is time to board, I am walking like a zombie. It is all too unreal that the next morning I'll be in Holland and will not see these faces anymore.....
And still it is hard to adjust. I am back in Holland now for 8 days, but my mind is still in The Gambia........  To everyone, thanks for the wonderfull time and till we meet again!!!

Ps. for my students, study hard.... Exams are coming!!!

§ Goodbye!!

And then it is time to say goodbye.... After nearly 10 month in The Gambia it is time for me to go back to Holland. The students and the school found it necessary to organize something to show their appreciation. They shouldn't have done this, but I appreciate it very much! First their was the Nusrat IT club. During my stay I contributed small to this club. I was fortunate to be able to join them on one of their field trips and the IT week. If possible students were welcome to ask me questions or make use of the computers when available. It seems they appreciated it as they organized a small reception for me!  When arriving by car, with my personal driver Dr. Fornah, the welcome comittee was present!

It Week


After the warm welcome, it was time for speeches, drinks etc. For me having to leave was not easy. Hearing all the kind words, compliments etc. made it even more difficult for me to leave The Gambia. The only thing I have to say to all of you guys is thanks and hopefully till next time!

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The same evening the Nusrat Management and Accountancy Training Centre organized a dinner. Again to celebrate my departure! The board of the school, the sponsors and the IT teachers were all present! Luckily there was enough food so mr. Beau did not have to eat fufu afterwards!

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What is she thinking?

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And then the day after, Saturday night the students of the advanced class invited me for dinner. This one was really special for me! For over 6 months I saw these faces almost every day! Not only did we accomplish a lot during these period, but we also had a lot of fun. The students organizing this for me was a great compliment and a great honour. The dinner was great allthough inside I was crying.

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For more pictures, go to the Gallery

§ What's up?

Time's up! Almost then. It is definite now. 21st of August I will fly back to Holland. I bought my ticket, all is paid (only have to collect the ticket form the travel agency). Due to obligations in Holland I have to fly back that day. Otherwise my stay would have been extended some more weeks I guess. This to be able to finish the course as I like it to. As it is now we will probably finish the course the day after I leave. That means time is to short.
After I am back in Holland it is not over yet.... There have to be exams. There is no time for me to conduct exams while I am here, so I will make exams in Holland, send them to Gambia, results will be send back and marked by me... 4 exams, 1 exam every 2 weeks, starting 2 weeks after my return in Holland. You see, once you have been to Africa it will not let you go!

§ Hackers!!

Maybe you might have noticed my website was not available for some time. Some idiots found it necessary to hack the server of Topserver. Fortunately for me the problem was solved fast and I was having a backup. Not to recent but enough for me to get my site up-and-running without loss of data! That reminds me! bro, can you make a new backup, thx! ;-)

§ Classes, travel agency and...

What was I here for again? Ok, computer classes! It has been some while since I mentioned anything about these. Classes have become a day-to-day routine, not much to talk about, allthough there is always happening something.
As you might know, according to my original planning I should be back in Holland right now (actually, I should be back the 7th of July). Well I'm still here, so something went wrong?! Due to NAWEC and generator trouble, the course got serious delayed. Going back without finishing the advanced course is very unsatisfying. So what do you do? Extend your stay. Extending sounds easy, but it is not. For my trip to the Gambia I have an open ticket. This ticket is normally valid for half a year. For me, I am allready here for 8 months. When time was up, contacting the travel agency allowed me to stay 2 more weeks (thanx Ward). However, 2 weeks is by far not enough to finish the course. So back to the travel agency for more time. Too bad.... no more extensions allowed... but they allow me to sell my ticket. Ok, that is at least something. I managed to find someone who comes by car and has to go back by air. I think, that is my man! However, my ticket was dated the 24th of July. He wanted to go back the 17th of July. Well I thought, it is an open ticket, so that should not be a problem... Mmm, it was. Actually the agency here told me it is not possible to put a ticket on another name. Explaining that I made an arrangement with Holland and that, if he let me access my email, I can prove to him did not help. We had to wait until the next day so he could contact Holland... okay! Next day he calls me that I am indeed allowed to sell my ticket, thank you!
But still the ticket is with me... Next step, put it on the Net. Well, that helps! Two reactions and my ticket sold! Now first finish the course and then... Probably I will fly back the 21th of August.

§ Rain season, malaria prevention and The Gambian streets

Rain season has started! What that means? High temperatures, high humidity, a lot of sweating and lot of water in the streets! So far it only rained two nights in the last few weeks. After rain, big pools of water in the street, some streets are completely blocked because of the water. But in Gambia, there is always a back-road, so during rain season you really get to know this place!

Then there is malaria prevention. To have the drugs is one, to keep them is an other thing! Last week there was a traffic control in Serekunda. After class, midnight, I return home and was stopped by the police, "where is your helmet?" I say ahh, officer it is too hot. You park, your bike, after you have to park your bike at the police station! I say, ok and then? No, no, what's in your bag? laptop, cd's, malaria prevention.... ahhh that's interesting. Malaria prevention disappears in the pocket of the officer and I can continue my way, no problem!

And then there is the Gambian ground, so far I did not have time to have a close look at it. Last weekend I managed to do so, I slipped on some loose stones. The result? I went down to the grond very fast, creating a nice scratch on my arm and back. Augusta and Mommy were right, Gambia is dangerous at night!!

§ Birthday!!!!!

Can you leave your birthday to be passed by without anyone noticing? I tried but.... well if you look at the pictures you will know that I did not succeed in that one!! I got a bit suspicious when Vinod insisted on coming to his house instead of me going to Bundung? First we went to have a nice lunch at the Butcher shop, after drank a few Julbrews at the beach and at night we went to the Fornah residence. A small party was waiting there for me! speaking of a nice surprise!
First of all there was food!

It Week


After dinner it is time for....
The Birthday cake! Finally, after 33 years I got a birthday cake with my name on it and candles to blow out!

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Although getting all the candles lit was another thing. The wind was not helping. Some hands solved the problem.

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Ohh and I almost forgot my presents, a very nice new outfit, african style, so I could open the dance in style!

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Another important moment, the cutting of the cake!

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then it was time for some serious dancing, not my clumsy movements

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After the party it was time for the after party. According to Mommy and Augusta Bundung at night is very dangerous! So we stay around till 6 in the morning before we go home, enjoying the sound of the frogs. Although mommy found it necessary to pick up stones and throw them to shut them up!

It Week


Anyway it was a night to remember! For more pictures, check the gallery!

§ AU Summit!

The Gambia, a small country in Africa, is hosting a big event: The AU (African Unit) Summit. For one week all the spot lights of Africa are put on the smiling coast of Africa. What is the AU? The African Union is the African counterpart of the European Union. Only the European Union seems to work, the African Union, well.....
During the African Union summit, all the heads of state of the 52 African countries are expected in the Gambia. Also the foreign affair ministers of the involved countries are expected. The last month on national television only AU summit and World Cup (no, let's not talk about the world cup!!!). People dancing, drumming, yeeeaahh the AU Summit is coming! Only weird thing, I did not see a single program about issues being discussed during the Summit? If you visit the website of the AU summit, no information whatsoever about topics going to be discussed?
But for the Gambia it is a great event! Roads are being upgraded, street lights are put up, new cars are ordered, a big expensive hotel is build, nice houses for the heads of states! The Gambia is doing great...... Only downside, streetlights are nice! But why are the streetlights on and I don't have light in my house? On Kairaba Avenue you can sit in your house in darkness, while only a few metres away streetlights are burning? But maybe, they will solve the issue as they brought new generators to The Gambia. Even the President was dancing in the street, finally his sufferings will be over!
Another phenomena is the Set Setal, or cleaning day. During cleaning day no one is allowed to go out on the streets unless it is to clean the environment. As the heads of state are coming of course the country has to be shining. Two extra saturdays cleaning! So everything stops and everyone is cleaning (or just staying inside, what is the use of cleaning if nobody is collecting the garbage?).