The Gambia.

I was employed to work on the Sapu irrigation project which was in the interior of the country near Georgetown. Sapu itself was real African bush country, there were no facilities of any kind. No shops, hotels, no radio or TV or anything.

If we wanted meat we had to go to the local mud hut village where there was a hut belonging to the meat-man who used to go out once or twice a week and find a cow. He would slaughter the cow and cut it into 4 pieces and hang the pieces by the hoof from the branches of a tree in front of his hut. The ladies from our camp had to be there early before the flies settled in order to point to the fillet in the leg which was usually still twitching.

If you wanted pork, there was man came round occasionally called the pig-man. He was dressed in an old British Army greatcoat, and wore some sort of Tyrollean hat, bare legs and a pair of sandals made out of truck tyres. He carried a home made rifle and was accompanied by a couple of small boys. After agreeing a price he would go off into the bush and search for bush pig (warthog). He would shoot the animal and he and the boys would drag it back to our camp where they would build a fire. They would roll the warthog round in the fire to burn off the hair and then cut it up. He would keep the head and the offal and distribute the meat around our camp. It was supposed to be pork, it was tough, it looked like a leg of lamb. With good cooking and adventurous use of spices and sauces it could be very good.

We stayed in the Gambia until 1983 when Susan's father unfortunately died, so we went back to England. Susan chose to stay in England with JJ for some months, so I went to Tanzania for Balfour Beatty on the Songea to Makambako Road Project.


I was alone in Tanzania in 1983/4 working with Balfour Beatty on the Songea Makambako road project. Susan stayed in England with JJ. The recent loss of Susans father was causing us to be very thoughtful about our future moves.

In Tanzania we had a camp at a place called Njombe which was about 700kms into the country from Dar es Salam. To use the phone to call UK we had to drive for hours either towards the coast to Iringa or inland to Mwanza on the shores of Lake Victoria.

There were a lot of things about the Tanzania Road Project that weren't right. Also our personal circumstances made it important for us to be together. I left Tanzania and returned to UK. We found a new opportunity and by mid 1984 we were together in Oman which is where we are now.

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