My Flight into Freetown was delayed by 3 hours due to technical difficulties... this is becoming a habit with me! On arrival we were delayed getting off the plane as the truck that has the stairs on it broke down.... and we are back in Africa 😊
I came through customs and immigration wanted to check my suitcase, this was fine as I had no dodgy dolls in it this time "passport" he announced in a rather gruff voice. so I said "sure" and I chucked it on the table in front of him... he told me off, apparently I should have passed it to him with my photo ready to be looked at. I apologised and he chalked a red mark on my case and I left to find Abdul, Abdul found me easily - the only white woman coming off the plane, I asked him for his name and we went out to the car park where he took me to Bernard, my colleague. not sure the 30 seconds I was with Abdul was worth the $5 I had stashed in my bra to pass to him quickly for helping me through the airport but hey I would never have found Bernard wothout him.
Bernard is the Sierra Leonne HR administrator, and he is lovely. himself and our driver Mohammed took me trough Lunghi to the port to get on the car ferry. it was dark now so my first impressions of Sierra Leonne were as follows.
We drove through many slums, these were created after the 11 year civil war ended in 2001, people lost everything, Bernard told me that to every man there were 5 women, generations of men were lost. There was no electricity, many people sat outside there homes or in communal areas enjoying each others company by candle light. The only other place I have seen this many stars in the sky is Ayers Rock!
We arrived at the port and it is chaos, there are many people getting on ferry's and there is a market right next to the ferry port where ladies are selling fruit by candle light and others are checking the fruit with torches... If you ever wanted to imagine what medieval Britain would be like - I would say this was it.
I can now say that the most un-nerving thing that has ever happened to me is entering a car ferry with the titanic theme tune playing on the radio however we made it to the otherside and I arrived at my hotel, "The Light House" and a dead cockroach greeted me into my room, I opened my curtains and WOW what a view of the river - Sierra Leone is beautiful.
While driving into work this morning I watched people going about their business, women selling coal, others selling "Gods Fashion" and the children, Sierra Leonnes Future, heading out to school waving frantically at me...
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