Tuesday started similar to monday with eggs, bread, pineapple, and fried plantains. It was all very good and the ladies who prepared it at the hope center were very gracious.
We went to meet with teachers at a couple of the G.E.M. Schools. It was great to see the world from their prospective and hear their heart for the kids. They all have very little to teach with; small buildings, and curriculum far behind . They do the best with what they have and it really shows with the kids.
The second or third grade kids at one of the schools had a song to sing for us when we got there. It really made us feel welcome and they did a great job even though we couldn’t understand most of the song. The teachers explained to us what their normal day looks like; they start with “religious morality” lessons which is teaching from the bible, then they have math, reading, writing, science, etc like our schools. The kids all wear uniforms and look very organized and seem very well behaved.
Back into Freetown tonight to meet with Sondra who came to Freetown via mercy ships in 2008. She has an awesome story that I don’t have time to go into here but it was very good to get to talk with her and hear how she is helping in the local hospitals.
On the way into town we saw that the ships came in loaded full of cargo crates. We saw them in the harbor unloading hundreds of huge metal crates into trucks. More on that later.
Before eating dinner Zach and nick joined a bunch of guys playing soccer on the beach. Nick got a pretty bad blister on his foot and Zach got schooled by a Sierra Leonian but they all had fun and enjoyed playing together which was really cool.
We are dinner at the “Atlantic” which was on the Atlantic (of course). Eating by the beach was amazing and a much needed change from the past few days.
After dinner while we were trying to make it back across the southern part of Freetown the traffic was stopped up much more than it had been the nights before. We soon realized this was because the trucks with the cargo freight boxes were headed down the already narrow roads and stopping up traffic. I don’t know where they were going but they were full of “stuff” from all over the world.
We made it through the town headed out toward Jui and this is where the night gets interesting. We had been having trouble with the land cruiser we were in for a couple days. It would get hot, start puttering like it was out of gas, we would stop for a bit and it would start back up and run fine again. Tonight this happened so we shut it off for a few minutes, started it back up, and it was still just puttering along. The first time we were forced to stop was right by a huge pile of trash (I’m sorry but you probably don’t understand what I mean when I say huge pile of trash but you will see from the pictures later.) The car limped across the narrow bridge, and we had to stop again… By another huge pile of trash (see the theme here?) We did this for about 3 miles. We finally made it to our turn off where the hope center was just under a half a mile away so we just got out and walked. The road was full of potholes, a few vendors, and a lot of motorcycle taxis going up and down. 5 white guys walking in the pitch black night down the street in Sierra Leone. We used our iPhones to light the way and every one of us still stumbled through the half paved mangled road but we finally made it and the driver got the car to work and made it to the hope center as well.
This wasn’t the end if the experience though… The hope center was locked and we couldn’t get inside. It’s about 11pm and the gate man was working with us to try and figure out a way in since be key he had didnt work. After about 20min he was able to wake Rochelle inside and she came to let us in and we finally made it to bed.
Another very interesting day.