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Just an update and an apology to GTS followers who have seen nothing new on the website for a very long time.
GTS Kololi became a registered business in The Gambia in January 2010, once it was completed enough to offer 4 double en-suite rooms and a working Bar and Restaurant - in my previous posting I explained how when my mother died & my step father Peter moved out here and now lives with us in Gambia and despite worries about the heat, he has settled in really well and enjoys it here and especially the lovely sunny weather.
I have now stepped down from running GTS Kololi and handed it over to the restaurant manager Mr Lamin Ndow to run - it is still not profit making but when it is profits will be shared by the Gambians who are involved in running it so welland with such dedication.
When registering GTS Kololi in his name Lamin was asked what GTS stood for and was told that Gambia was an official goverment name and could not be used by private businesses - GTS will remain GTS but now stands for "Getting There Slowly" which is rather appropriate.
There is now a constant stream of volunteers staying in the 7 rooms that are available and work is continuing on a further 4. Rents for a week ranges from £70 to £90 but volunteers get further reductions.
I take no money at all from the venture, I never have and now that I am retired I have no need for a Gambian income - but I still help to train the staff to be able to run the place efficiently and effectively - tourism is one on the main hopes for their future, but their education does little to equip them for it, I also continue to work on the maintenance and improvemnet of the property.
GETS continues to try to provide education and has now moved into the new Sunrise Centre in Bakoteh which offers Nursery Education as well as 16 to 18 year olds with skills training, I am delighted that GTS Kololi offers a work placement in the housekeeping area and when the Bar and Restaurant establishes itself I hope further placements will be made available to equip a few youngsters with the skills they needs to be successfully employed in the tourist industry.
My wife Filly is keen to start on her land near Giboro and we hope that volunteers will come and stay to help with that task - by next year she hopes to have water and power there and enough accommodation to offer volunteers placements.
Thanks to a very helpful administrator at Crosswinds who host the GTS site - we have not been closed down even though we have failed to manage to pay our dues to them - we are simply failing to be able to make internet transactions and can still not access the service area at Crosswinds to do site updating, change contact details, etc., - but a string of delighted visitors are helping us by using 'Trip Adviser' to post their comments about the Accommodation and the Restaurant.
I hope when you visit Gambia you will stay at GTS Kololi and sample what we are doing in person OR come for a drink and a meal during your stay - there is a large signboard at the Main Senegambia Junction pointing along the sand road to where GTS Kololi is situated about 500 metres away - there is also a sign at the Palma Rima junction with the Coast Road from there GTS Kololi is 1.5 km, a second sign is displayed after 1 km where the route takes a sharp right down the other end of the sand road which starts at Senegambia.
Bubacarr who looks after the accommodation and Lamin who is focused on the Bar and Restaurant will be delighted to greet you and take care of you.
I look forward to seeing you and answering any questions you may have, alternatively you can email me at GTSKololi@Hotmail.com
i will be suprised if anybody is still around to make a comment as you may see how many posters have fallen away from this forum with good reason imo, such a shame used to be good but no more
Good to hear from you and know that you're still involved. Best wishes for 2011. Sorr we were too busy with GOES during our last visit but hope to dine at GTS next trip!
good to hear from you. Actually though time was short and reason was sad, I took the chance to dine at GTS Restaurant when I was there in December. I had a very heartful and warm reception by Lamin and a wonderful dinner. I met your son there also, but couldn't make it to Kololi to greet you personally.
If it may help, I try to leave a note at trip advisor. It was my late husband who introduced GTS Restaurant to me, and any time we were in the Gambia we never failed to dine there. This place is full of memories for me now.
Still stuck here in UK, since Feb 2010. Didn't realise you had passed the Bar over, been putting stuff on Tripadvisor regulary when people ask about Bars and Accomodation.
What's Adam doing now..?
Was nice to see You, Filly and Dad when I came with Fay.
Nice meal had there..
Keep up the good work, hope to get back sometime, still waiting for Pension mob to give me Money..