Sunday in Koidu.

Sunday is a quiet day around camp. Except for the cooks and a few security guys, all of the 30 plus workers have the day off. There are only six geologists living in the camp at the moment, including Alastair, and even some of them go into Koidu town to visit people. I enjoy spending the day just hanging around without all of the hustle and bustle, but this Sunday we joined a couple of guys and drove into Koidu town ourselves. Actually, Alastair let me drive the truck for a little while! Koidu was completely demolished by the decade of civil war that raged up until 2002. Koidu town, like other areas of Sierra Leone, has not recovered from the devastation, and any attempts at repair are painfully slow going. The eastern part of Sierra Leone was hit the hardest, mostly because of the diamonds in this area. Sitting somewhere and having a beverage summarizes spending the day in Koidu. It is difficult to differentiate between a regular shack and one that serves food and drink but the guys have been here long enough to know where to go. There is nothing to see by way of art or culture, there is no entertainment or shopping areas. There is, quite frankly, one view of poverty after another. For better or for worse, I’ve quickly become desensitized by the standards of living for most of the population. Even after a couple of short weeks, what initially was shocking to me, I now consider as simply a way of life. It is clear that people want better for themselves and yet they also accept what they’ve always known.

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