Sierra Leone Trip – January 2013 Day 3

15th January 2013 | Posted in Nigel's Blog

Day 3

Awake with the muller in the distance but dropped off until it was time for the zircon to go off at the moment I get up.  Shave in the dark and wash in the bucket of cold water – very bracing!  Breakfast identical to yesterday except the bun was even bigger and hot too.  Sat at my school desk in the porch.  Took my role for the next meeting, tripped up the stairs and flattened it again – twice in 2 days

Then to 8am meeting with Yenku and Forad.  They had researched their stuff a bit and we planned our business, me the investor and them the operators.  One of those odd moments when someone said was I going to lend them a hand, and they didn’t have one between them!  Real urge to help like put things in a  bag yet they are used to it.  Ended up agreeing to invest 1 million (£150) in them with 3 repayment dates with 400,000, 300,000 and 300,000.  They reckon on a 1 million cost they will sell for 1.7 million.  Introduced them to Alison who they will repay.  Wondered if I should have charged interest and think I probably should but no good beating myself up.  They have an opportunity, they seemed trustworthy and maybe it will change their lives.  So many in the world will want to take such a chance – interested to see the outcome.

Then on to Justina at St George and sorted out car registration stuff and hear about the ministry.  Seemed to be struggling a bit as so many children needs so much cash.

Then on to Manaheim.  Made me weep again as 40 disabled children in awful state yet who else would care for such children.  Nicolas has a double sized head and can hardly lift it.  Rumata was much better, she has epilepsy and sickle cell.  It seemed her foot was broken so we paid for her to head off to hospital and her knee had an open sore.  The baby we saw in October is still alive – Joshua had just gone to the doctors with some flu?/infection.  Then  a group called a call to business arrived – very odd as the man Paul told us he was he was in charge of the home!  They and another group had come to talk to Melrose about how they both paid for the same thing.  We were invited to stay.  Not an easy time and many cultural challenges in the exchange.  There were no clear answers forthcoming.  Such a conundrum –  who else in a wheelchair, would look after 40 such children, we reflected most were alive only because of Melrose, she was probably the poorest there but then who knows – her husband could had taken money but the way she lives there is no outward sign of extra resources.  However, it’s clear the amount of money going in does not reach the children.  Very difficult situation.

We have advised call to business before and offered help – each time rejected.  Sending $3,000 per month makes no sense which they now realised.  Shame this group have been so prideful and not prepared to listen in the past – all quite sad.  Anyway they have built a new place and want to take the children off Melrose – yet despite her huge failings, she is the only mother those children have ever known.

We excused ourselves after a while and headed off to King George Coronation home for the elderly.    First person I met was Elizabeth who told me she was on the board of the Scouts.  Emotion got the better of me as I noted how upset I was that the scouts had reneged on a contract I did with them and trying to cancel a lease for a street kids home to seize the building we built.  I think we understood each other – they have lost the case yet have to now settle but wheels of justice take for ever – I was just upset at the greed and lies that I had seen told.

Anyway, back to King George – so many friends lost as roughly half the residents died in the first year after their move.  Nice facilities, outrageously bad care – yet seemingly no resource.  Alison tries to visit every week or so as for many they are isolated and alone.  Visited each one – quite a few of the new ones spoke English.  Smell of Urine hard, one asked for tobacco, another a huge sore on his leg, one just wants to die.  All perked up as we speak but certainly needs help.  Left saddened and of course with so many dead, fewer of the residents knew me.

Then to see the YWAM team staying at St George for 6 weeks.  Unfortunately they had all gone to town so just said hi to the cooks and away we went.  Over the mountain – doesn’t seem much progress on the road but a lot to build I guess.  Dropped in at Javoy House to find there was no room at the inn for the teams we wanted to book there – bit of a problem as most other places are very expensive, anyway experience says God provides other places.

1 hour later arrived at IMC – this is the NGO we register our vehicles with as we are not separately registered in SL.  Arranged to see at 1pm but arrived at 2pm but the man had already gone home.  Phoned and he said he would come back and be there in a few minutes.  An hour later we waited and when we phoned we found he was not coming but an employee was.  Discussed matter with employee who said we had to speak to the man – which we knew all along.  So phoned him and then had to set up another meeting.

Decided that was enough so went back to 5/10 hotel and met the manager Esther – I’ve known her since 2004.  She had put her prices up again so what started at $35 per night for a doubles in now over $100.  Negotiation was a “small discount” which concluded the deal.  Also checked availability for next week with team but turns out they are full with a conference so our booking would have been invalid anyway!  So had a drink and worked on the programme.  Back to hotel for an hour and e mail and then back for dinner with David and Margaret November.

Fascinating meal with couple in 70s who help significantly at Lifelines.  Had been in hotel business (top ones) and knew Jackie Pullinger living 12 years in Hong Kong.  Also Jackie Farahats dad is one of their best friends – small world!  Covered so much and inspiring to be with them.

Back and chatted with hotel owner about future of hotel – would he sell it/lease it etc.  I did say if we get involved the wing that is rented out by the hour would have to go! And so to bed.

Leave a reply