Sunday, 26 May 2013

Masanga- Weekend respite

It's amazing how luxurious life can feel after having so many things stripped away from your 'normal'. Over the weekend Steph and I went to stay with our friend Anna at Aberdeen Women's Centre in Aberdeen, Freetown. We got to sleep in a huge, air conditioned room, with the availability of hot running water, flushing toilets and amazing food cooked for us- a breakfast of bacon, eggs, pancakes, chopped mango and banana and a hot cup of tea, while also getting to spend time with precious friends, not only Anna, but Tiffany and Greta, who were visiting from the ship for the weekend.
To make the weekend even more amazing, we spent Saturday at Bureh beach. After a somewhat long, bumpy drive from Aberdeen, we reached our destination, hopping out of the car to gaze upon the glistening, blue sea and smooth sand.

The last time I was there was 2 years ago and it has changed a little from what I could remember. A river now winds its way from the land through the sand and rocks towards the ocean. The water in that river is deep enough in places to float your way downstream, avoiding the rocks and into the ocean.
We spent the day with different people, some ship friends, some new friends from Masanga, some new friends we met that day and a few little African girls from Anna's church group, who hovered around our table and chairs eager for our company and attention.

After a relaxing day, reading, swimming, chatting and watching the sunset over the water, we headed back to Aberdeen with our new friend Steve, but after only driving for about 20 mins we heard a pop and soon it was evident we had a very flat tyre. We piled out of the vehicle and were crowded by a group of children aged from about 2-12 years old from the nearby village. They stood close by us just wanting to watch what we'd do.
While the men sorted out the tyre, we started to sing a song we knew in Krio- Tell 'im Tenki and as soon as those words were out of our mouths, they picked up the rest with their strong, melodious voices. They continued singing songs and each time they ended one, someone would start a new one or one would whisper a suggestion of another into someone's ear and they would begin anew. It was a beautiful sight and sound to behold. I felt so privileged to know some of the Krio songs they sung and to listen to them sing so earnestly in such sweet voices.
It took quite some time getting the tyre changed and battling Freetown's horrible traffic so we stopped to eat on the way back to the AWC and by the time we arrived back to Anna’s and stood in the kitchen chatting with her and eating cookies, we had a bad case of the giggles. Poor Anna stood bewildered as the four of us, Steph, Tiff, Greta and I stood in the kitchen in uncontrollable stitches of laughter.

Sunday came and we made our way to the supermarket to see what we could take back to Masanga to excite our taste buds in the week to come, after spending the past week eating the same pasta and tomato sauce that I unfortunately threw up on the second day.  I had avoided that sauce successfully for a few days, but soon realised I would die of carb boredom if I didn’t start eating it again. Wednesday night is the only meat night at Masanga and the rest of the meals were pasta and the same meatless tomato sauce, except on Sundays we were made rice with peanut sauce. The alternatives are bread, with nothing to put on it. We did have nice fruit options when they were available; mangoes, bananas and pineapple. So at the supermarket, we found some essentials; peanut butter, Laughing Cow cheese, crackers and Ramin noodles.
In the afternoon, our friends from Masanga met us and picked us up from AWC and we made the long drive back to the jungle for another week of learning and experiencing health care in the middle of nowhere.

A random sign on the drive back to Masanga

1 comment:

  1. I thought I recognized Bureh!! What a breathtakingly beautiful place! And I love the picture of the beach reflected in the sunglasses---what a great shot! :-)



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