Nearly Squashed a Biker last week....! and had a little accident yesterday... 2 blog posts in one!


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Africa » Sierra Leone » Freetown
March 6th 2013
Published: March 6th 2013
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Ok, bear with me while you read this, I wrote the first part last week and thought I'd uploaded it... apparently not! So go back in time and imagine its this time last week....



Nearly Squashed a Biker Yesterday....!





Apologies for the delay in getting in touch guys, I'm definitely still alive although I feel a bit dead as I've been running around like a headless chicken! Work has been crazy since my last post, here's what I've been up to...



The mining camps tour went well, I've drummed up loads of interest in the marathon and even got lots of teams for the football tournament. After all my hard work, I got told the girls aren't allowed to enter a team because nobody would want to play us. Nice. Plus, its a marathon promotion event and we don't want to waste a team on girls 😞



Not cool.



Mining camps are a slightly different world. Everything is covered in red dust and they stretch as far as the eye can see, they're enormous. They mainly mine for iron ore and I even went to a site that grows miles and miles of sugar cane to turn into bio-fuels. Its very interesting stuff once its explained but it doesn't make my like them any more, they constantly destroy the forests here to mine and I think it's a big reason there's barely any wildlife.



Oooh, speaking of wildlife! I had my first dangerous animal experience last night – THERE WAS A COBRA IN OUR CAMP!! Was very exciting but the guys had pounded its head with a stick before I got to see it alive! It was pretty big too, about 2 metres and was black and yellow. I thought of you Jack Bedford – you'd have loved it!



I've been in Freetown quite a lot. The rest of the marathon team (Lewis, Tracey and Mark) are out from London now so they are just settling in. Lewis has been here for about 10 days and leaves next week again so we've been going to lots of corporate meetings to get sponsors for the marathon. Its been pretty cool, when you speak to corporates here, there's no messing about, you go straight to the top! I've been meeting MDs left right and centre and making contacts in some pretty influential places. The good news is that its working! We have received sponsorship offers from the equivalent of Vodafone out here, a major international security firm and worldwide vehicle manufacturer . Once the deals are confirmed I can tell you who 😊



Going back to the title of this blog... we nearly killed an Acado Rider on the way back to Makeni from Freetown the other day. Acados are motorbike taxis and they are stupid. Everyone who drives out here is prone to awful accidents just from pure stupidity like not looking when they pull out, stopping randomly, cutting across traffic for no reason and it doesn't help that the few traffic laws that exist, aren't enforced anywhere but in Freetown centre.

Anyway, we were driving along out of Freetown in my new friend Joe's minivan. People were beginning to drop off in preparation for the 3hour drive but I had the front seat and was wide awake. Chattin and driving along, nice steady pace, next thing you know a guy on an oncoming bike starts drifting over to our side, when I looked closer, he was looking down at his feet...! No helmet, no nothing, Joe beeped continuously and because thats a common noise out here, he didnt even look up until he was nearly splatted across our windscreen! He went from drifting, to swirving, to knees scraping the floor and he seemed to boomerang the bike and managed to stay on and not hit us. If it wasn't for Joe swirving off the road and down a ditch to avoid him, we would have made a mess!





Now go forward in time again to today!




Helloooo 😊



Hows it all going? Fill me in on your lives please! (good job so far Jess, will reply when I get a sec – prob Monday)



Ok, so an eventful past few days – how could it not be right?!

I went with Tracey and my friend Lottie to do a beach promo tour at the weekend and no joke, it was actually really hard work! Walking from beach to beach with barely any shade, carrying as many marketing goods as we could – I have definitely developed firmer thighs and a kick ass tan!! (also made my ankle go fat as we were permanently on a slant for hours on end though, not cool) Check out the photo! A moment of inspiration for a pretty wicked photo caught me when we stopped for a rest.



We met some pretty interesting people walking along the Peninsula and everyone was very helpful in letting us put up the signs. The best and cheapest place to stay on the beach is Prince William's place.... yep, you read correctly! Prince William!! Mum, I've found him!! haha luckily he also has the looks and gentlemanly charm of a very nice prince so we don't mind staying there! He looked after us and when we had to go through a river to get to another beach, he carried all the stuff on his head so all we had to concentrate on was battling the heavy current goin the opposite direction to where we needed to be!

In other news, after Lewis and Mark had joined us on the beach tour, we went to Freetown for more sponsorship meetings, banks this time. Just strolled right in to the MDs office. security is excellent here. Speaking of security, the Minister of Defense asked for my number!! Yep, parents, don't panic, I'm now best buds with the head of the army so safety is not an issue!

I met him when Lewis and I went along to join The Freetown Hash, which is a drinking club with a running problem! Basically they are a pretty awesome selection of people from all walks of life; locals, sportsmen/women, expats, housewifes, ...ministers apparently! and they meet every week to run/walk different assault course routes around the hills of Freetown 😊 Its excellent! Then they all met back at the ministers house for food and more importantly, beer and rum!

I'm definitely noticing that business here is done in social hours rather than working ones. People have no time to help charity when they are at work, they can help an awful lot once they clock off though! I met some fantastic people and it was a great laugh, so much so Im going back to Freetown to go again next week!





Now to the 2nd part of the title... don't panic but I was in a minor accident yesterday, all fine except a little whiplash. The taxi I was in from Freetown got ploughed into from behind by a stupid guy who wasn't looking where he was going. Just made my journey here much longer and gave the driver somethng to chat about for the following 3 hours!





Back in Makeni now and we drove the marathon route with the Red Cross today, it was wicked 😊 I rode in the back of a pick up truck taking pictures of all the mile markers and where our signed will go. The course is beautiful. Absolutely stunning to run. Race day is going to be INCREDIBLE!!

The launch party for Makeni is on Saturday and we are hosting the football tournament on Sunday, I'll upload the shots next week from it. We are having BBQs and cocktails, paddling pools, table tennis and some amazing performers from Freetown - Performers Without Borders (PeWiBo) will be wowing the crowd 😊





Right, I've got to go. Busy busy busy, need to go and meet more people about the football on Sunday.

Dan, nice to speak to you earlier! The rest of you with voicemails - you know who you are!!

Happy Mummy's Day if I don't get to speak to you!!! I will definately try but it wont be as grand a gesture as last year - sorry Mummy 😉 Love you!

Love and hugs to all

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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