Day 1: Friday 21 Oct 2016
A day for every early riser: we left school just before two in the morning and headed for Heathrow and a very long journey to Freetown, via Brussels.
As soon as we landed, we were hit by the incredible heat and humidity, and then had to wait for what seemed ages before we all managed to get our suitcases back. Thankfully, nothing was lost in transit! We then headed for the boat shuttle that would take us into Freetown - the alternative is a four or five hour journey on some sort of road (although now that we have experienced roads around Freetown, I dread to think what it would have been like!). As we boarded the boat, the sun was setting on the Atlantic ocean which afforded us some fantastic views of the capital across the bay. Five of us were lucky enough to be allowed to sit at the front of the boat, which was a fantastic way to arrive in town. On the other side, the welcome committee from the Ballanta music academy were awaiting our arrival, while Kitty stood with hands full of food prepared for us after our long journey.
We went straight to the hotel, and after a few minutes settling int our new quarters, we all gathered and ate with gusto (our only main activity today). After that, it was off to bed for all of us as by the end of the meal, we were nearing 24 hours on the go!
Our first impressions of Salone as Sierra Leone is known by the locals: amazing and welcoming with warm people and even warner heat.