Sunday, September 13, 2009

Freetown – September 10

My second full day in Salone (term of endearment for Sierra Leone) was spent in Freetown. Freetown is a bit of a frenetic city. There are people and cars and noise everywhere, even at night. It actually took us most of the day just to get out of the city. We went for brunch at a café called Bliss and I ate the last pastry I’ll probably eat for a long while. We then had a few errands to run, but actually spent much of the day waiting.

By the time we arrived in Makeni, the capital city of the Northern Province (about a 2.5 hour drive on the only paved highway in the country) it was dark. It gets dark here around 7 or 7:15, and by 8 pm it is pitch black. The dark is a bit hard to get used to. For one thing, it’s kind of a weird feeling for it to be dark so early yet still warm. For another thing, when it is dark, it is REALLY dark, since there are no street lights and very few outdoor lights. Lanterns or candles are generally used in the evening and I have been making liberal use of my headlamp too (thanks Chris!).

We stopped for dinner in Makeni (meat on a stick from a street vendor, yummy!). then drove on to Mayagba, where the cdpeace main office is located, and where Heidi and I spent the night. Heidi was living in Mayagba, but has just moved to Makeni in order to be able to easily access the internet every day (if you want more of a background on Heidi, or anyone else I’m mentioning, see the “people” post, which I’ll update whenever I meet someone new – I will bookmark it in the links section). We arrived in Mayagba after 11 pm, so no one was around. People generally seem to go to bed early and get up quite early here, which suits me just fine! MKK (Mohammed K. Kamara), who runs the guesthouse for cdpeace, did get up to greet us and make sure we had everything we needed though.

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