Time to write a few fun things to let you know I'm ok here. I didn't mean that last email to scare anyone.
The last two weekends, I have gone to the beach with friends from work. These are two different beaches and I will mention more about that later. The road to both beaches is very rough and it takes about 1 and a half hours to drive there. The roads are terrible. No one in the United States would believe it. The road is only paved a very small portion of the way. Today we went through streams, giant holes filled with water, ruts in the road that I wondered how we would even manuver around, and bumbs so large it feels like you're on a roller coaster and bridges so narrow that I hoped to god we would make it. Just to make things interesting, I did see several "dead" cars from long ago lying at the botton of creek beds. These cars had probably gotten into an accident or missed a turn and went over the side. The cars sit in the creek forever...getting rusted and falling apart. No one ever bothers to remove them. I'm a little anxious about driving here when my car actually does arrive. Everyone I have talked to says you get used to it. I'll let you know!
So after all the driving and being thrown around inside the car like a rag doll, we arrive at the beach. The beach we went to last weekend was remote. We were the only people there except for a few Africans who came to cook lunch for us. The beach is breathtakingly beautiful. Pure white sand, crystal clear blue water, no seaweed (like in Texas), no jelly fish, no debris of any kind. Just wonderfully clean water. In the background of the beach are the mountains. The mountains are covered in lush green plants and trees, so it's very magestic. No people, only beautiful nature all around. We played in the big waves, had lunch of Angel fish and rice cooked by the local Africans. Basically all you do is call someone's cell phone (of course you know them!), you tell them you're coming to the beach and how many people you are brining. The meal is delicious and only costs about $5.
The beach I went to today was an invitation from some people I met at a Happy Hour for my boss last night. (The drive was similar to last week and took about the same amount of time. There is no shortage of beautiful beaches in Sierra Leone. There is 250 miles of beautiful coastland.) These were Lebanese people. They are rich here in Freetown, as they own a lot of the business' here. There was a large party of about 30 people. All very nice people and they brought all this home made Lebanese food. We played in the waves, talked and even played sand volleyball. I got several comliments on my volleyball skills, which means I got noticed! I made a lot of saves on the court and got every one of my serves over the net. Nothing wrong with being 50...I've still got it! Oh, I also wore my new bikini to the beach. The old black one was getting tired and boring even for me. I think with all the trips to the beach, I should have brought a lot more swimsuits!
One quick word about food. There is something here the Africans call "rock buns." Basically, its a muffin; only a little more hard and dry than ours. Anyway, I bought one and left it in a little brown paper sack on the shelf in my kitchen. The next day, I took it to work with me. I put it in the microwave to heat it up for breakfast. When I took out the brown paper sack with the muffin in it, ALL THESE LITTLE ANTS CRAWLED OUT!!! Everyone has these little ants in their kitchen, but I forgot about it and didn't think they would get in the bag with the muffin. Anyway, the amazing part is that those hearty ants survived cooking in the microwave! I didn't know if I should eat the muffin or not; I figured it must be sanitized if it was in the microwave....and I didn't see any ants on the muffin. This being Africa and me being hungry, I ate a few bites.....then a co-worker brought in some really yummy lemon pound cake and I promptly threw the muffin away, just in the nick of time! Just like me to come all the way to Africa having received all my vaccinations for yellow fever, malaria, typhoid, rabies, etc. only to be killed off my tiny kitchen ants!
Hope all is well in your corner of the world!