Now I’m just one week behind! My previous assessment of time was pretty poor. I’m currently listening to a DC Talk Say the Words remix, which is random both in that I mention it and in how it came to play on my computer. Nostalgia hit. John Dalbey eat your heart out.
Day 106 – March 21st 2011
We had our Medical Reception, which usually occurs before the hospital is open. Since things have been a bit crazy this year it happened after. This provided the medical community of Sierra Leone a unique opportunity to see their people being treated. There were a decent number of medical officials and professionals there. It lasted pretty long into the evening, but the food made up for it in the end.
Traffic in Sierra Leone is ridiculous, and is a constant point of stress among us. A 40 minute walk is often a 45 minute drive, and what should take you 25 minutes to drive can often take 2 hours. How do you solve this problem? Orcadas! Motorcycle taxis are fast, dangerous, and foolish things that cut your travel time significantly. Like down to 1/3 (for those of you who stink at fractions that’s an impressive thing).
This was taken on one of the best days off I’ve ever had. Largely because it was one of the first I’d had in a long time. I slept in, yet breakfast was waiting as they were making waffles in the cafe (I LOVE waffles). Then I got some writing done, went into town for pizza at the best pizza joint in Africa (in my limited experience). There were Skittles in the ship shop when I got back, I got more writing done, played poker, and then had a LAN party in the dining room until like 1am playing the original Call of Duty. AWESOMEST DAY OFF OF ALL TIME.
On Saturday 60 of us piled into Poda Podas and headed to the beach. Poda Podas are like mini buses, but more like large vans. Basically you sit on wood/metal benches and cram as many people into one as you can manage without causing excessive bleeding. We went to Lacca Beach for a bon fire that never happened because the tide kept wiping out the fire. Which is kind of funny if you think about it. On the way back our driver almost got us killed a couple of times. He was kind of a jerk. I think he got yelled at more than anyone I’ve seen so far; which is impressive.
This is something I stare at a lot. It’s largely a function of my job. Sound living.
Frances and I waited for two hours for Karin to arrive. By the time we got tired of the bugs eating us alive we decided maybe we should make a run to the ship to see what was going on. Turns out we had left two hours early… heh heh. It was a good time to catch up either way. And then when Karin did arrive we wound up with an extra person: a chimpanzee researcher from the reserve just out of town.
He’d just arrived from Nepal, and had no idea where he was going. Or where his luggage was. Or what to do next.
So we took him to the ship. We got in touch with his contact, the only phone number he had on him. Apparently he was supposed to be taken to Aberdeen, a suburb another hour away from us. Which was where his luggage went. Apparently he’d just followed the crowd when the boat docked (pictured above, the floating hazard banging against the concrete pier).
We fed him and kept him company until they could come and get him. At least now I’ve got some friends at the chimp preserve!
This photo was taken from our Gateway dinner/Aaron’s birthday dinner in Aberdeen. We went to a place called Alex’s, a nice little restaurant in the heart of NGO land. It’s really nice to be able to go to a nice spot like this from time to time, it’s very relaxing.
Part of my job is randomly helping people with music-related things. In this instance the academy high schoolers were working on recording and mixing some music. I helped enable this by turning on the power… and… moral support.
RUNNERS UP GALORE