Alastair was responsible for receiving a young Canadian IT man at the airport and then chauffeuring him back to camp where he’ll be helping for a couple of weeks. We set out on the journey, which on a good day takes about 6.5 hours in the 4-wheel drive vehicle. Half way through our journey, the car broke down and we were on the side of the road for about 4 hours waiting for another vehicle to arrive. All the while, passing children would stop and stare at us on the side of the road, always begging for food or money. Some of the more brazen ones would refuse to go even after being asked to move on, saying that they would only go if we paid them. It’s an unfortunate reality in this culture that children learn to beg at such a young age. The begging errs on the side of relentless when it is aimed at a white person. I find myself trying to imagine what it is they are thinking when they look at me. Whatever it may be, I presume that most of it is probably true. Eventually the vehicle arrived and we made the rest of the bumpy ride in the dark, which unfortunately slows the process down even more. All in all, it took over 11 hours.
We had missed the young man, John, when he landed but had sent someone to collect him and we met up with him at the hotel. The airport and the area around its entrance can be overwhelming so I’m glad he had someone to meet him. The next day we were due to travel back to camp and although I was eager to return, I was anticipating the painful pilgrimage home. The roads have been destroyed by the rains and have long since seen any repairs. Two days of traveling had made every pothole that we hit feel that much more miserable. Therefore, I’ve decided I’m going to have live in this camp forever since I’m NEVER driving back to Freetown. I hope you all understand ☺