Monday, May 26, 2008
I MADE IT!! I arrived in Freetown last night about midnight. I met some great new friends who met me at the hovercraft. Oh, I guess I should explain. I left London at 1pm. Arrived in Freetown harbor around 830pm. The airport is right on the water. All the passengers are crowed into a small holding room waiting for customs and luggage. It was SO hot and humid compared to Washington DC. It's sort of like Florida or Corpus Christi. A man with holding a sign with my name on it was a welcome sight after all the unknowns. He collected my luggage and guided me to the hovercraft. Basically, it's a boat that skims the surface of the water and goes very fast. It was completely dark so everything seemed so mysterious. We had to wait for the luggage to be loaded. All those bags makes me wonder why people need so many things when they travel. We are a selfish society.
My sponsors, Lindsay and Sean, met me on the other side of Freetown. It was great to see Americans! They drove me to my apartment. It's really really big! The furnishings are ok, and the ac works great. I'll spend some time making it "homey" when my stuff arrives from the shipment. My car will take 2-3 months so until then I'll depend on friends and the motor pool to get me around.
Today Lindsay and Sean took me shopping and showed me the town a little. The Sierra Leoneons walk everywhere. Most people are unemployed. Women and children carry baskets of things to sell on their heads; just like in the photos. Stray dogs roam everywhere. The roads are rough, and my car will be perfect. Things are generally poor and shabby. There are no malls, no large stores, not much cleanliness. But there is no violence and the country is at peace. We have guards at our apartment and the gate is always locked to cars. The pool is nice and I finally got a chance to lay outside and get some sun.
First day of work tomorrow. I'll work on getting connected.
Love to everyone!
2160 Freetown Place
Dulles, VA 20189-2160