Well that was a wonderfully straightforward journey!
There are so many things that can go wrong on a journey to Sierra Leone. It’s not something I ever look forward to. The flight itself is fine – as a Fen boy I enjoy flying over the snow caped mountains of North Africa, but its what happens next that can be tricky. First of all there is the luggage carousel with the randomly stacked bags to negotiate, followed by customs. I always get stopped, and being tired, my grasp of Krio at this point is never great. Then there are the rows of eager ‘friends’ who want to touch your luggage in exchange for a dollar. After this, once the car has been located and everyone sorted, you dash across land from Lungi to Tagrin and the ferry… Last year a container was stuck on the ramp. Before the ferry hasn’t turned up. Reliable its not! Finally the drive to the hotel.
This time everything was smooth except for an hours delay in departing Heathrow. The flight was painless, the luggage located, I wasn’t asked to open my luggage, Francis, Sylvanus and Sallu met us and whisked us through the gathered ‘friends’, we made the ferry which departed promptly, and we arrived at The Hope Centre at midnight. Far better than I could of dreamed of!
The Centre is a lovely new building erected by an American charity, housing a dentist, medical assistance and conference facilities. As co-proprietors at the Bible College across the road, we get a discounted rate. We shall be quite comfortable here.
In bed, exhausted by happy by 1am.