Sierra Leone Trip – January 2013 Day 7

19th January 2013 | Posted in Nigel's Blog

Day 7

Conundrum resolved – what time to take a ferry to get a hotel and look at others.  Decided on 2pm.  Usual breakfast arrived but Peter tummy feeling unwell – could be a dodgy salad but he retired to rest and take the diarolite.  Alison appeared and time to discuss all hotel costs and arrangements with Kajita, the owner.  Bit of negotiation but came to a place that worked for all.  Details and what is and not included have to be recorded carefully.

In Africa if people share a room it assumed they share the bed.  We asked if another bed could go in our shared room –yes was the answer but we’ll see if it happens.  Can’t seem to buy single beds easily in this country.

Down to see the Polio Men’s association.  They live in a disused abattoir and been working with for years.  They have workshops and land and we are now ready to consider doing some building.  So first things first.  Met up with Paul and Ali, condolences on recent deaths of David and Francis – seems odd visiting and them not being there – but death comes early in such conditions.  So we looked at the building plans and asked what first.  It seems someone we know had put in lots of foundations, so we have to work out where they are.  Also a problem that a 2 story building is planned but no metal in the foundations so may now not be possible we shall see.

They decided they wanted the 11 shops to be built first against the road as this will secure a regular income.  We asked for them to get a building cost to complete.  We will also get one.  Then a census of how many live in the community – told 95- and what are their family units to help us understand what we should build. Back tomorrow and see what they have done.

Plan was to visit the YWAM team but managed to speak to leader on the way to find they were not there for a third time!  I will get to see them yet.  Decided to go over to Lifelines site and check everything alright for the team.  Just fantastic – the slab laid and everything ready.  Toured with David November, his wife Margret was interviewing the children and asks them some good questions.

Pick up Peter and after an omelette headed to the ferry.  We usually travel 2nd class as first is like being in a sweat box.  Went into 2nd class waiting area and surrounded by 1,000 people in hardly any space and could hardly breathe – so decided to spend the pound to upgrade t first class.  Upgrade not possible so have to buy first class tickets (£1.50).  On to the ferry where our car already was and handed bags to Sulay, our driver.  Upstairs to deck and sit. Soon blasted by mega loud speakers used for selling DVDs as you get a minute of everything.  45 minutes after starting we arrive.  Spent the trip talking with Mohammed, Alison’s friend who asked me if I would pay for his schooling.  Discussed why the last few times he has started in school he gave up.  Smart lad but lived on the street since he was 8, now 15, often in trouble.  It’s hard to imagine how tough his fight for survival has been.

Met James and friend in wheelchairs we met on the way over.  Chatted with them and bought biscuits.  Shared in their lives a bit more. Disabled, in a wheelchair that struggles to work and homeless-  so many like it yet on TV such people are beggars to be removed – here they are real people with real feelings, hopes, aspirations and wanting to contribute – the numbers are overwhelming and where do you start.  I guess you start with the one in front of you.  What you did not do for the least of these you did not do for me (Matt 25) ringing in my ears.

Then on to hotel.  Peter and I ready for rest so went to bed and then worked.  Ate with Peter, who did not have an appetite but tried something.  Mulled over what we had seen and done and the issues and possibilities before us.  I truly believe we can help this nation help its most vulnerable people.  Starting early we hope, plane delayed by 1 hour due to snow – at least they got away from Heathrow!  Direct result of prayer for the Heathrow schedulers.

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