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 The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90

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Posts : 146
Join date : 2012-02-05
Age : 62
Location : Somerset Levels

The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90 - Page 5 Empty
PostSubject: That's it folks   The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90 - Page 5 EmptyThu Nov 21, 2013 9:02 am

Well , I did manage to get them home safely from Gatwick on Friday – flight was on time and hardly any traffic to hold us up.  thumbs 

Andy was not very well at all – he is gradually getting better but it is a long slow process. They refer to it as the Pendulum Affect.  When blood sugars have been all over the place to the extent that Andy’s have it is like a swinging pendulum – it takes a long time to settle down and stop swinging.  We just have to be patient and hope and pray that there is no long term damage.  comfort 

Although Andy was very disappointed that he could not stay at the hospital and help out – after all the speeches and back slapping they only managed one and a half days of putting up mosquito nets.  In fact one of the others in the group was in bed for several days as he was exhausted and not well at all.

Whilst in Banjul Andy did get out for a walk on the beach and met some lovely people.  Two particular people found a place in his heart.

Amie – a young woman, selling fruit on the beach to support her unwell Mother and young sister.  Her spoken English was very good but she said she could not complete her education as she had to earn money.  Business is not good – when Andy was chatting with her it was 4pm and she had sold nothing that day.  She lives, with her Mother and sister in one room.  The toilet is outside and there is no electricity.  The room had a mat on the floor and a small mattress for all three of them.  Her aim was to have money to buy chicken to cook on Christmas Day.

The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90 - Page 5 Amie_zps36553c02

Omar – a Father of three. Working on the beach selling T shirts.  If he can sell three he can cover his costs and buy food for his family. He makes beautiful jewellery – he gave Andy a shell necklace for me.  It is so delicate – the shells are all polished by hand and to make the little hole in each shell he gently rubs with a stone until the hole appears – it takes a day to make one of these necklaces.  He also makes a natural oils skin balm.

He was given a jeep by an English holiday maker a while ago.  He was using it to take tourists out and about and made a reasonable living, supplementing this with his jewellery, balm and T shirt sales - clearly an enterprising man.  Sadly the jeep is off the road with poorly piston rings and he simply does not have the £200 to buy replacements.  If he can buy them he has a friend who will do the work.

He has twins – a boy and a girl – and a younger daughter.  He has enough money to pay for one more term at school. After that they will have no more education.

This man invited Andy to his home and shared food with him.
The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90 - Page 5 Omar2_zpsb48067b4

I mentioned that Andy met a camera crew in Bansang and spent the day with them when he did not feel able to ride little Chubby.  He met up with them in Banjul – they had sought him out at the hotel to make sure he was OK as they were worried about him.

Andy was touched by so much kindness shown by complete strangers.

The “team” joined Andy at the hotel in Banjul on Thursday night in readiness for the flight home on Friday.  Dennis muttered a hello but never spoke to Andy again – not even to say goodbye. Needless to say there were hugs and handshakes all round for everyone else!   Dunno 

I do not think we will be on Dennis’ Christmas Cards list!    Whistle 

And finally – I just had to share this with you all.
The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90 - Page 5 Peter379Custom_zpsa6d3e20c   



Paula  wine
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The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90 - Page 5 Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90   The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90 - Page 5 EmptyFri Nov 22, 2013 6:43 am

A huge well done to you Andy, And of course to Paula ,who did most of the worrying,we were all rooting for you ,hope you are well soon, look forward to seeing you.
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Age : 62
Location : Somerset Levels

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PostSubject: Summing Up   The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90 - Page 5 EmptySat Nov 23, 2013 12:09 am

Andy has been asked by so many people -

Would he do the trip again? and Does he regret doing the trip?  :?: :?: :?: 

No, he would not do the trip again, partly because of the time and money which can be used for a new, different trip and mainly because of the impact on his health.

Yes, he does regret doing the trip - again, because of the impact on his health and possible long term damage.  However, if he had not seen it through he would wonder for evermore if he was capable of such an undertaking.

He was capable and he rode the 4000miles and delivered little Chubby to a place where he will prove to be invaluable.  thumbs 

I said right at the beginning that I would write my report through Andy's eyes and his perception of things - that is what I have done.  Naturally if you read another report written by another member of the group you would probably think you were on a different planet in another time zone.  :!:  

For example, I know that on Dennis' Scoots blog http://www.scootersinthesahara.co.uk/2013/11/ he has not named Andy, but it does not need Einstein to work out who he is referring to when he talks about wanting to kill one of the team members, and bury them in the desert; and it not written in a light hearted manner! 

Andy did his best with the food trying to make it varied and suitable for everyone on a miniscule budget.  In just over three weeks, he cooked 4 chillis, 3 curries, 3 Pad Thais, 3 pasta bolognese and 2 noodle soups. Everyone enjoyed the food (or appeared to) but it seems that it did not meet with Dennis' approval.  Rolling Eyes 

My report is Andy's perception and for me his perception is his reality and that is what matters to me.

The group was most definitely split in two - physically and phycologically.

I am sure those riding up ahead with Dennis saw the trip quite differently than Andy who was at the back with Joe, and Jon and Peter in the truck.  There were often long distances between the two sets of riders - illustrated throughout my report by numerous photos of empty road ahead of Andy and Joe.

Also the other huge factor is that for much of the trip Andy felt extremely unwell. The way he was feeling is bound to affect his view of the trip. I did also promise to record it warts and all and that is what you got!

As I have said, Andy was, and is still unwell - and that just simply should not have happened.   Banghead 

Promises were made to him over several months that were simply not kept and because of this he found it impossible to regulate his blood sugars.  Crying or Very sad 

"Excessively low or high blood sugars have various symptoms such as feeling shaky, sweating, hunger, tiredness, blurred vision, lack of concentration, headaches, feeling tearful, stroppy or moody, going pale.  The causes can vary - excess insulin, delayed or missed meal or snack, not enough carbohydrates.   When blood sugars are too high or too low you must  - stop what you are doing (ignoring it means it will only get worse) do a test, have a sugary drink if you are too low,  take insulin if you are too high. Retest bloods and wait until you are stable before carrying on with what you are doing.  If untreated there is a risk of losing consciousness and or having a fit."

At times Andy was close to collapse either with dangerously low or high sugar levels. Once this pendulum action starts it is very difficult to get it stable and that is why he is still struggling and I suspect will be for some time. This fluctuation has long term affects on his vital organs and thus is very worrying.

Since Andy has been home and we have been able to chat about it all I am horrified that he became so ill - I was not aware of just how bad he had felt - and at the way he has been treated - made to feel like a leper at times.

I can fully appreciate that folk generally do not have an understanding of type 1 diabetes. That is why we made sure that Dennis knew all the facts and was happy to take Andy along. He assured us that there would be plenty of time for Andy to manage his bloods and have regular snacks. This simply did not happen and I feel bitter and angry that Dennis was prepared to put Andy's life at risk. I am not being melodramatic - blood sugars in excess of 30 and below 3 can very easily induce a coma and death.   affraid  

Dennis has posted on the GS forum to say:

Alternatively, for a different and perhaps more balanced perspective on the trip, have a look at:

I have been following Chris' blog and found it very interesting - especially the way it is put together. A good read  study 

I take issue with Dennis' comment about it being more balanced - who can say that?  No ride report is unbalanced in the eyes of it's author. Maybe Dennis means that Chris' report meets with his approval and of course mine does not.
A totally balanced report would have to be factual - a string of facts - and we would all be asleep in seconds of starting to read it. It is the personal input that makes it a good read.  Sleep  

So shall we just say that everyone's individual report of their journey is balanced and honest to them.  Dunno 

The most disappointing thing for me is that the harshness of the riding was not the issue. The problems arose because of day to day things that should not have occurred.   No 

Things such as the formation of two riding groups rather than one meant that the group at the back caught up with a waiting (and resting) front group only to be told "no time to stop - must press on."

At some stops - money would be handed to one person to go and buy drinks and 9 cans of coke, 9 fruit juices or 9 mint teas complete with sugar would come back. These are of course a no no for Andy. He was usually told - "no time to go to buy anything else" - so just water on offer.  Rolling Eyes 

All these little things build up when you are tired and under pressure and so become big things. Combine that with peer pressure to be like everyone else, feeling very unwell, being the recipient of sarcastic "digs" - you have one pretty miserable group member.  Crying or Very sad 

I think the message I want to get out there is for anyone who wants to do the trip but has either health issues or serious reservations about personality clashes then I would strongly say DON'T DO IT. Things will not sort themselves out once you are on the road. Again, this is only my opinion, based on Andy's experience.

The entire experience was most unfortunate for us, however, I know there may be some of you out there who will go on the next and future trips - you may get on really well with Dennis and have a great adventure whilst doing a great job for those less fortunate. Whoever you are - well done and enjoy.  Just remember not to question anything he does and above all else, be a "YES" man!

As this is now water under the bridge and the ride is at an end this thread will be locked - still available to read of course but no need to add any more.

If you have an interesting story to tell or would like to share photos of your own trips - even if it is just a day out - please feel free to sign up and use this forum.

Also if you wish to publicise future events please feel free to use the What's Coming up section"

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Paula  wine
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