What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An adventure but not comparatively

So I made it to a guest house right across from the airport. It's a dive, but it's got power and a lock on the door!! I could never have found it without my next beautifully white knight: "Hawa".

I had a lead from a friend of someone here to help me find a place. The bike taxi driver took me to the wrong place (first time being on abike seemed dangerous..lol), and then helper guy went a bit crazy, so I went out searching on my own. Some people tried to help me, but then it turned out they actually were trying to overcharge the "Opotu"

But then in steps a group of nice people trying to help. When people here see a white person they charge them a little more and they think you want nice expensive accomodation and canned meat. But the minute you tell them you are in need, that someone in Sierra Leone stole your money, they seem ashamed. And they go out of their way to help you. Time and time again this past week. Hawa took it upon herself to physically take me to several places until we found this one. She knew the owner and helped me negotiate something I could afford.

Then we went out and got some street food. Actually me, she didn't eat much. It's the same here, they may not have eaten all day, but they will make sure you've eaten first, and pretend they're not hungry and have eaten. It was really nice, she's the first women here that within the first 10 minutes isn't say "I love you" or "I want to marry you". We talked for a good hour, set up my mosquito net, etc.

She is originally from Guinea, and just came here a little bit ago when her father passed. She is saving money to go to nursing school. Two years, for $750 total. Wants to start in January. This part is specifically for my grandmother and grandfather. She is ethnically Fula, a nomadic cattle raising tribe of West Africa. And at one point she said, we Fula are all over the world, we are travelers... "so when I see another traveler in need, I must come to their aid!" with a non chalant smile. It is just like Gianlucca in Poughkeepsie!! How the world comes around!!. ;)

So I'm almost there, I'll be in the air in less than 24 hours and can see the airport and hear the planes. Talk to you all soon...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tim,

    I left Sierra Leone on Sunday in the early afternoon; was staying at the "Gateway" guest house. It seems I may have just missed bumping into you again!

    I've just read most of your older posts. Very sorry to hear of your troubles; it seems that no good deed goes unpunished. For better or worse you've learned a lot and this valuable experience will help guide you in the future.

    Best of luck,
    Eric (the cyclist you met from Toronto)