Sierra Leone Day 5
Stop Press!!! Paul's bed was fixed today and as I write this it is still standing, but to be fair, he hasn't got in it yet!!!
On a more serious note, he is feeling better today which is great news and he was able to join us for the days activities.
Rob and I set off this morning for our meetings in the city. We started with a meeting with the British Council at 10.00am to discuss their connecting classrooms scheme which may enable us to partner schools in Sierra Leone with schools in Bracknell. It was a really productive meeting. Then we went off to meet the DST lawyer...who wasn't there. Then we set off for the national TV broadcaster SLBC where I was due to be intereviewed on their live day time programme. However on route we got note that it had been cancelled! So we ended up back at the DST office where we had our appraisal with Abs talking about how things are going, objectives and how he is doing. Then the others showed up from the hotel and we met the current crop of DST students which was amazing.
On route this morning, Abs showed us the street corner where only a few weeks ago one of the DST students had been begging. Now he is off the streets and learning digital numeracy and literacy before hopefully carrying on to the more advanced DST ICT schemes. His name is Ishmail and we met him and chatted to him along with the other students. They are fantastic and it is so great to be able to see real lives being changed by the great work Abs is doing.
A few of us then set off for the big market to buy some souvenirs and gifts to bring home. The big market is quite an experience. It is an indoor market that was unbelievably hot and crowded. There are loads of stalls and people trying to sell you things. Having got what we needed we then headed back to DST.
This evening we had a meeting with the leaders of Regent Road Baptist Church about the school in Tombo and then there was a Revival meeting...essentially a mid week service. Steph was the guest speaker and did really well. Paul led the music and we had a great time.
We finally got back to the hotel at around 9pm after a long and hot and tiring day. But it has been great. I love it here. It is loud, hot, polluted and colourful, flamboyant and desperately poor. But we are making a real difference which is so good to see and be a very small part of. And our friends here are wonderful and so fantastic and committed to helping people despite real difficulties.
Tomorrow we are off for the school opening in Tombo, should be another great day.
P.S Paul is now in his bed and as I write it is still standing!!!