We recently traveled to Sierra Leone for two weeks, returning to the northern town of Kabala where we taught school in the 1980’s. 30 years is a long time and things have not been easy for this west African country. The 10 year civil war took an incredible toll on lives, homes and infrastructure.
Despite the passage of time many things felt the same: the heat and humidity, kids hanging out on your porch, friendly greetings and cold Star beer.
Kids were everywhere and expressed curiosity about us wherever we walked. They wanted to touch us, they wanted their picture taken and they wanted to follow us!
Daily living takes a lot of work, however everyone pitched in to help with making fires, cooking and laundry in the compound.
The market scene was lively, and a daily necessity. It is the very essence of ‘shop locally!’
Many women have small businesses where they make and sell traditional tie-dyed fabric and country cloth. This work is squeezed in between the cooking and maintaining a house.
Smiles were in abundance…
…so was the rain!
Despite the hardships, there is plenty of joy,
Sierra Leone is rich in resources and hope,
and working hard to improve the quality of life.