Hi everyone. I bet you’ve all been wondering what’s happened to me… or not… Well, I’ll clue you in either way. After completing my ‘very interesting’ – and yet rewarding – year as a VSO volunteer, I left Sierra Leone and returned to England with the prospect of securing a nice job in the UK to begin my career – at last – only to secure another – fantastic – Fellowship position back in Sierra Leone for 10 more months, while I was on holiday in the States. So my poor parents only got to see me for a total of two and a half weeks before I jollied back to my old-new home of Freetown.
So I now work on an amazing malaria prevention public health messaging programme with faith leaders for a worthwhile organisation out here in Sierra Leone and I have to admit that second time round, this country has grown more on me… No friends, that doesn’t mean I’ve packed all my stuff up and moved out here for good (even though my colleague says that might change if I meet a Conteh-Bangura out here… ... …). That could however have a lot to do with the fact that my living conditions have dramatically improved; my worries having changed from ‘has the broken pipe in the bathroom leaked enough into the bowl for me to have a bucket bath?’ to ‘Oh, I hope I can find a softener that makes my machine washed clothes smell as nice as my last one!’
Of course this might convey a certain vapid-ness in my new lifestyle, however let me assure you that my ability to function in an electrically enabled house is somehow directly proportional to my ability to keep sane? No, that’s not it… I mean my ability to work effectively with the nature of the high capacity of my current position. I must say that I certainly enjoyed the simplicity of life in my last position and oh, who can ever get over the amazing-ness of those poda-podas!! However I am glad to have more amenities and an amazing landlord that takes his duties as a house owner seriously (one should never underestimate the blessing of a dutiful-landlord), as this means I am more at liberty to do those things which I would previously have found too difficult or laborious because of lack of access to necessary facilities.
In spite of the slight upgrade in lifestyle however, I have to say that my life hasn’t changed all that much. Electricity still cuts in and out (however less frequently – due to the improvements in generation of power from the Bumbuna dam?) I still take taxis and podas (albeit less often), I still get spoken in Krio because people assume I’m Salonean (will that ever change?) I still swim at the UN gym and I still go out of my way to purchase street food such as popcorn, yoghurt, plantain chips and street meat (this has interesting increased, almost exponentially, since my colleagues and I discovered a great seller down at the convenient location of Congo Cross.
So apart from being able to travel quickly in a 4x4 and not having to complain about mouldy wall (even though I now have a strange case of termites on my dressing table – just saying!), I really am doing all the things I did the last time round… well almost. Anyway this post was not originally meant to bore you with the particulars of my change in lifesyle but just to say hey, I’m back in the blogging world. Don’t expect writings of literary genius or too many divulgences into my work life – there must be a separation and a different medium for that – however, expect fun filled, thought provoking stories into my life here in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
PS, no need to donate anymore, so you can now read on without the niggling guilt of not having monetarily supporting my organisation!! Plus, if you find this post slightly erratic, that is because I am up writing it at 4:30 am after being kept up by a residential-home-turned-party-house across the street!
Till next time,