Saturday, March 12, 2011
I arrived in Freetown last night after a long 8.5-hour flight. Arriving in Lungi Airport in Sierra Leone: I was a bit surprised at how thick the air was especially for 9pm at night.
Getting through immigration and customs was effortless and my cousin Hasmiru who is also our guide for this trip was waiting for me at the airport entrance with a huge crowd of people. He'd didn't need a sign since we "met" each other for the first time on Facebook the day before!
From there we drove to the ferry dock. The ferry ride was one hour, a comfortable ride as we rode in "first class" ($2 instead of $1) to sit in the enclosed space with a bar and music playing.
Impressions: I do not feel like I'm in a foreign land. I do feel very comfortable here, surrounded by my brothers and sisters. I've described it to my husband as being at a Sierra Leone community function in Toronto transplanted to the backdrop of St.John's, Antigua.
The buildings, building materials, the bright-coloured walls and hand-painted billboards, the abundance of cell phone company signs and advertising, the stalls on the streets, people liming, music playing -- all felt familiar.
I have touched base with Wizzy, the representative for the amputee football team, they were supposed to practice today, but the city is barricaded for street cleaning so it had to be canceled.
It's almost midnight and I feel more awake now than I have all day!