I usually make a point of keeping the Gambia pics happy and positive and Dance2Learn posts light and encouraging.. The smile on this gentle man’s face is no exception… but let me tell you a little about him.
This is Augustus. A very shy, gentle and smiley man. He also has polio, which he developed as a 5 year-old child.
Every evening, after the bumsters, traders and majority of tourists have left the beach, Augustus drags himself from his shack across the roads to the sea at Kotu.
He pulls himself along the beach for around a mile, where local fishermen give him a small share of the little they have. He can’t carry anything, so any food he receives has to be eaten in situ. We gave him a note. His arms are so weak and hands so feeble that he couldn’t tuck it in the small pouch he carries around his neck on his own.
It was a fortune, 100 Dalasis, somewhat short of £2.
We sat together for quite a while. We played “who is the most handsome” using the camera. His laughter was infectious.
I asked him if there was a special someone at home. “Yes”, he replied, “my mum.”.
He’s never been to school, it would be impossible to pay for or even get to for him. He has little or no physical contact (for fear of “infection”), he moves by dragging himself along. Augustus is 38.
We sat together, laughed and shared some time. He made me smile.
Later that evening, I cried, as I am now, I could never be that strong.
I feel I need a new direction with Dance2Learn, maybe not as glamorous as “bringing light” but I need to do something.
Augustus, the even camera shows, you win hands down on the Most Beautiful Soul, maybe you will spark a new direction.
I’d welcome your thoughts and help.
Webmaster - Dance2Learn.org