Well, I’ve had quite a delightful past few days! On Sunday I went an international church service in Freetown. It was fun to meet with believers from all different places who have converged upon Sierra Leone. So at the beginning of the service we went around and said our name and what we were doing here. Since I haven’t really done a ton yet in terms of working for WMT, I said that my name was Emily and I am a nurse practitioner who will be going up to Kamakwie hospital in a few weeks. And lo and behold, the next person to introduce herself said, “My name is Karen and I run Kamakwie Hospital.” Ha! This was the woman that I’ve been e-mailing for the past year but haven’t spoken to since the two seconds I met her at the ferry last year. It was both of our first time being there so I got to pick her brain about the hospital, what I’ll be doing, etc. I was really nervous about going up there and so I was elated to get to talk that all out with her. She was really great and I’m now even more excited to get up there! So…yeah!
On Monday I took my second road trip. This time I was driving. Yikes!
We headed up to Mo Charles which is the area we will be taking our medical team when they come in a few weeks. My job was to finalize the lodging arrangements and preview the clinic site to make sure everything will be ready for us. It was also my responsibility to decide whether or not the road is good enough to take a 30 passenger bus on. Team, I decided we can do it. I apologize ahead of time if we get high-centered or the bus tips over. My bad.
This trip was different from my last one for a couple of reasons. For one, it was just me and two Sierra Leonean guys who are partnering with WMT. Road trip!! I love doing these kinds of things because you get to spend a lot of one on one time and chat about more than just work. There was a lot of joking about how different our cultures are.
The trip was about 6 hours each way so we had some time to kill. I brought my IPOD with me to play some tunes but had trouble finding something that they liked. The pastor told me that he liked country so I pulled out my lone Dixie Chicks CD and he bee bopped to that for awhile. Other than that, they weren’t too impressed….UNTIL! Michal. W. Smith. That’s right, they went crazy for some Smitty. They asked why I made them listen to all that other stuff when I had this all along. Whoda thunk? It made me laugh.
It is very expensive to live in Freetown. Therefore, when we go out into the provinces I have noticed that the Sierra Leoneans like to stock up on things that are more expensive to buy in Freetown like coal, etc. So I wasn’t too surprised when we stopped to get some pineapple (cause they’re much cheaper) and then loaded up the back of the truck with 3 huge bags of coal. But I was not expecting to have to ride the rest of the way with THESE!!
It was disgusting. I kept waiting for us to have to stop suddenly and find this thing in my lap. I forget what they call it, but it only cost about 2 ½ bucks. I’ll pass.
All in all it was a delightful trip. I was given the degree of “excellent driver” by the pastor (who incidentally does not have his drivers license) but I think it was later revoked. They didn’t want me to drive home because they said I drove too slow. I don’t know….I’ve never had someone tell me that in the States, but have had several friendly policemen tell me the opposite………