Monday, 7 February 2011

Monday 7th Feb

Look who were waiting outside my room for me this morning!
Today has been extremely busy. Our day started by meeting Mr Alieu Badera Mansaray, Chair of the Waterloo Partnership, Sierra Leone and his wife Aminata.
  Next we went on a tour of all of the partner schools in the area. We went to visit two bridges which were funded by the Waterloo Partnership and they have made a huge impact on peoples lives. At the bridge we attracted alot of attention. Everyone crowded us, asking to be 'snapped' and then laughing at their photos.

The drive from Freetown to Waterloo takes about an hour on really bumpy, dirt tracks. At one point a hill is so bad that there is a man who stands at the side of a road (wearing no shoes), with a spade to dig cars out. Driving through Sierra Leone is amazing. There are so many beautiful sights, but also ones that make you appreciate life in England. On the drive we saw numerous children looking really smart and proud walking in their school uniforms. These children walk for miles alone on dusty roads to attend school. All of the children we passed were smiling and waving to our car.

Some of the living conditions here are shocking. Many people crowd into tiny shacks with no clean water or power. Some of these shacks are situated next to huge mansions so there is a big contrast. In every river, there were people cleaning themselves and washing their clothes. Along the road sides are hundreds of people selling items.

Arriving at the school was amazing, the children are lovely. I was introduced to the classes as 'their stranger from England'. All of the children were smiling and wanting me to take their picture. There is a massive difference between the classes in Bassa Town and the classrooms in England. I spent my afternoon in class 4. The children learn by copying writing from the chalk board into their books. There are over 80 children in a classroom, half the size of a classroom at Rimrose hope. The children are sitting on broken benches and desks.

One major difference for me is that teachers here are allowed to hit the children. For minor reasons, the teachers would hit the children with a stick. This made me feel really uncomfortable. The children aren't given much praise from the teachers either. A small group of children created a welcome song and dance for me. This was a really lovely moment watching them perform. Afterwards, I gave the children a superstar sticker (even Miss Clarke wanted one!). Most of the children stuck these stickers on their hands. Before leaving the school, I showed the children the bubbles that I had brought with me. The children loved trying to pop the bubbles.

The heat here is intense. I have never been this hot before! I have to make sure that I am covered at all times in bug spray and suncream.

I am very excited to see what I will experience tomorrow!!


  1. WOW!!
    That sounds amazing. Enjoy your stay. wish i was there m x

  2. MONKEYS!!! Bring me one back please :o) xxx

  3. Looks like you have a new cute pet monkey haha

    From journilist club

  4. looks like you have a new pet monkey hahaha

    from david (journilist club)

  5. miss i am very sorry that you can not dress up in a fancy dress costuem from joe (nick name hippy)

  6. MONKYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Digging cars out of the road, with a spade and no shoes. THAT is a hard job.

  8. Sadly I had to leave the monkey behind in Sierra Leone.

    Rob it was an extremely difficult job. The hill was so unbelievably steep and full of pot holes. Massive clouds of dust and sand would form from every car that went by. The man would get completely covered and he was breathing the sand in. Plus the fact that there were absolutely no houses nearby for miles, so this man would have had a lengthy walk to get to the hill each day.