Saturday, 16 October 2010

Saturday 16th October 2010

After having arrived to a very warm welcome equipped with a banner and many smiling Sierra Leoneans, we were taken by minibus to IMATT (aka British Army Base), where we are to spend the next 11days (unfortunately without one of our team; Mandy Lim…we miss you!)
This morning we were briefed by RSM Canadian, Cpt Rocky, Chief of Staff, and Medical Millers, who informed us of all the delightful health benefits whilst here, including tape worms and reminding us that nothing except bottled water is safe. We all now know how to evacuate the building in the event of a fire, although our feeble “fire, fire, fire” would not have woken the next door neighbour, it has to be said.
We headed into Freetown, seeing first hand the terrible poverty that was such a world away from what we’re all used to. Our first visit was to the Ballanta Music Academy, which went well this morning; we start teaching there on Monday morning. Walking through Congo, adrift with children asking for water and middle aged men asking for our hands in marriage, Sorrel had a throng of kids to whom she gave small sweets and lollies. Lunch was spent next to the beach, although the torrential rain and weird painted man who decided to eat glass in front of us, were not two things we’d quite banked on. Driving back through the monsoon rains was a new experience, especially seeing men, women and children falling over in the rivers of accumulated muddy water coming from Leicester Peak.
If you don’t hear from us tomorrow, you have Mr Yates and Mr Ladley to thank for their spaghetti bolognese….