On Saturday Mick and Jenny were holding a weekend charity festival at their compound in Lamin. An area had been set aside for tents for anyone who wanted to stay over. Luckily our tent was already there, Paul would come along later as he is working delivering a workshop. At 2 o’clock we left for Lamin loaded up with a rucksack of a change of clothes and a couple of blankets and pillows. Once in Lamin we then had the walk to their compound unfortunately I had ran out of credit so couldn’t call Mick to pick us up. When we arrived Abigail and Bradley went off to play with Teo and Mia and a couple of other children who were already there. Mark from the Scottish Embassy, Dean and Pete had stayed over last night to help with preparations. Jenny was trying to have a little sleep as she had been up late last night and then early this morning cooking some of the meals which were to be provided with your entrance ticket. Eventually other VSO and Peace Corp volunteers arrived and started to put up their tents or a makeshift tent made out of Mosquito netting. Jenny gave up on her sleep and came down to join us as others arrived. It was a good turn out much more than they expected. During the day events were being held to beat the Pete the first one was a sack race, all the children joined in including Jenny and Dean. The game started and you could see the determination to win on Pete’s face however after viewing the replay it was decided that Dean just crossed the line first. They then had a bobbing for apples game for the children, Abigail and Bradley didn’t want to join in because it meant getting their hair wet. The apples used were cashew apples which are now in season and are quite sour in taste some people can have a reaction to them, Paul for one ending up with burnt lips. They are so weird to look at as a single cashew nut grows underneath the apple this is used for tanning and tattooing. To release the cashew kernel from the nut they have to be roasted and then usually the cashew kernel is roasted yet again to give them their flavour, no wonder they are so expensive to buy. I was then asked if I would help Chris with face painting the children’s faces. The paints were very oily and I bet will take some getting off. Abigail wanted a star and baubles as she was wearing her Christmas Tree dress for the fancy dress. Bradley wanted a tiger, Mia a butterfly and Teo wanted bee stripes as his fancy dress was a bee costume.
Paul arrived just before 6 o’clock so we went off to find a spot to put up the tent. We then mingled chatting with the other volunteers. Then the food was set out so we ate a selection of rice, tapala, Lebanese flat bread, beans, dhal, bolognaise, roast pork and salad, all of which were very tasty. As it started to get dark a group of drummers turned up to perform for us. The lady’s in the group sang and then started to dance gosh these lady’s can move, some of the volunteers got up to dance with them. We then had a couple of songs from Jane. As the night wore on Bradley was the first to go off to bed just around 10 o’clock. On the other hand Abigail enjoyed having a game of tug of war against her dad and a bit of limbo dancing with some of the other children. By now a fire had been lit so we sat around drinking and enjoying the atmosphere of living in such a pleasant area surrounded by forest. Abigail gave in just after midnight and went off to bed Paul and I left with some others just after 2 o’clock. The tent was only a small one so we just fitted however it was to be a sleepless night for me having to get up once to go to the toilet and move the lamp which someone had left near to our tent so it was shinning right into it. At around 5 o’clock I managed to fall a sleep but was then woken by the children an hour later as they got up with Paul to have a walk around the forest. The forest sounds were amazing as things came to life I laid watching a couple of hornbills in a tree and a squirrel jumping from one to another before giving up on sleep and getting up. We ate a late breakfast of egg tapalapa and then as people left we sat around talking and helping to clear up before leaving ourselves just after 1 o’clock