Monday, February 14, 2011

Safe in Sierra Leone

This will be a short post- I have unexpected access to internet at the Advance Team's housing, so I'll keep it short and sweet.

We arrived safely after easy flights- ALL OUR LUGGAGE made it! No hold ups at the borders or even any sort of inspections of our possessions.  We took a very interesting water taxi ride over from the airport to the other area of Freetown where we're staying.  Kylie got nauseous on the plane and experienced throwing up on plane, boat, and van all in the same day, but was an amazing trooper with it and most people didn't even know she was sick- very discreet, and no fuss at all.

We were greeted with other Mercy Ships people when we arrived off the taxi on Wednesday night.  We're staying in a very nice place - a hostel near the national stadium, where football (soccer) games are played on a frequent basis.   Our family has our own room- a locked door, an air conditioner that (after getting repaired three days in a row) works fairly well, as long as the power doesn't go out in the city.  We have a sink, toilet, and shower.  The girls have their own beds - no mattresses, just velvet covered boards in a bedframe, and we have a king sized bed!  Probably the biggest bed we've ever slept in.  The mosquitos are pretty bad, and our room didn't have netting up yet, so we hung up some netting - it's not just bug bites we're trying to prevent, but Malaria which is carried by mosquitos. This entire country is "malarial," so it's a real issue.  We are taking preventative medication as well, but bug spray and bed nets are two of the best ways to prevent.
Some of our fellow students have had some rat sightings in their rooms.  Fortunately we just saw lizards and giant cockroaches.  These we can get used to easily.

We are working in two areas - constructing the walls, power and interior of the hospitality center where patients will recover.  This is near the port and has a lovely breeze- an incredible building.

We are also working at Cheshire Home, an orphanage and school for children affected by polio.  We're doing a VBS type program with them and are thoroughly enjoying hanging out with them.

This weekend we had some down time- a day at Lakka Beach (delicious barracuda!!) and another day at a hotel where we were able to pay for the pool.

It's hot, humid, and everything we expected, and then some!

Church is three hours long- loud, crowded and wild. :)  We had a great time.  They claimed their church had never been so "bright!" (meaning all the white faces).

Freetown had a population of 100,000 prior to the war, now it is estimated to have two million- traffic is unlike anything I've ever seen- single lane roads, motorbikes going down the middle, chickens, goats, dogs, peddlers and cars and vans all merge together.

We're safe!! :)  Thanks for your prayers!

1 comment:

  1. Love to hear you guys are choosing the 'faithful response' to your circumstance. I know there must be dozens of moments every day for you to moan, complains, etc. I can close my eyes and feel everything you're talking about, sights, sounds, smells, heat, humidity, etc - crazy! See you in a couple weeks. Let me know if there's something (smallish) I can bring for you!. Uncle Tebe