Monday, 31 October 2011

Sunday 30th October

Henry & Esther

Today was yet another exciting for the Sierra Leone team. After an early start, but not as early as normal, we set out for a picturesque walk around Guma valley dam and a visit to, Ballanta founder, Kitty's beach house before a concert on the mercy ship. However some of the most exciting moments of the day occurred on the drive to and from the locations, but more of that to come! Sadly when we arrived at Guma Valley Dam the duty guard locked the gate in front of us and refused to let us enter without paying him a substantial amount of money, although he used our lack of ID cards as a an excuse. It wasn't all bad though as a few of us got a chance to chat with some of the local children once again and left more time for us at the beach!

Kitty's beach hut, while not finished was amazing and the almost private beach was spectacular. Almost everyone ran straight into the sea (apart from the select few who didn't want to get their hair wet). We spent the next three hours relaxing in the sun, swimming in the sea and tucking into our exotic packed lunches (under trees with lots of red and black ants) apart from Christine who dropped hers into the sea (As Freya said it was a real SANDwich). Some of us also got the chance to have a football skills put to shame by a group 11 year old boys who dominated a game of piggy in the middle against Henry, Hattie, Owain and Jasmine, followed by a gymnastic demonstration by Polly. We also had time to discover some of our hidden artistic talents including Lulu's stick men in the sand and Lucy's little hearts. We all left the beach with an array of tan marks, (including Hattie's hand outline on her face), burns and sandy costumes.

We finished the day with a tour of the mercy ship hospital. This was an amazing experience as this was a ship traveled around West Africa with over 400 staff, performing operations on local residents. It was a floating town full of unpaid volunteers including a school, bank, post office, library and star bucks! Lizzie along with a couple of the staff also got a tour of the hospital facilities and was amazed at the standard of care they provided in such extreme circumstances. Even though we were down as the Freetown boys choir we got the opportunity to end the visit with a short performance at a service for the on board volunteers and were once again blownaway by the amazing standard of our friends pieces. This was also recorded and played on the TVs of all the onboard visitors, patients and volunteers. It was a great way to end a weekend!