Monday, August 15, 2005
Many of you may wonder what life is like here. Is it different? Having been here for 5 months, some things do start to seem normal, however, life here is probably anything but ‘normal’, at least compared to life as most of us know it. Can you identify with the following daily happenings???
“Women washing their clothes by hand in front of their homes. Naked kids playing on the streets. Stand pipes along the road for people to collect water. Rusty broken down vehicles on the side of the street or turned over in ditches. A wall surrounding the compound. Street vendors everywhere. A child walking with a bucket of water on her head. Dogs barking throughout the night. Children bathing on the side of the road. Razor wire along the top of the wall. Huge piles of trash on the side of the road. Water filters in the kitchen. A gate with the following painted on it - ‘entrance, do not urinate here’. People digging through dumpsters to find items to sell or re-use. Laundry drying on the ground. Coming home to hear we need to conserve water as the tanks are almost empty. 20+ people trying to cram into a minivan. Guards patrolling the property. People walking around with live chickens in their hands. Enormous potholes on the red dirt roads. A panic button on my night stand so I can trigger the alarm system if necessary. The constant sound of the generator at night.”
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Posted by Sandra's Latest... at 5:03 PM
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
I love sleeping, so I would choose ‘to sleep’ any day. However, circumstances here in Freetown often seem to opt for the option ‘not to sleep’; I either can’t get to sleep, or wake up multiple times throughout the night or wake up way too early. Noise pretty much is the cause of this, although the Lariam pills might help a hand! Let me explain in more detail where this noise comes from...
Our neighborhood is pretty lively with frequent soccer matches that take place on the soccer field, right next to our compound. I’m convinced that the whole neighborhood shows up for the game; it certainly sounds like everyone is out there with all of the music and cheering I hear. If there’s not a soccer match then there’s often a party - again with loud music, people talking through megaphones etc. This can last up until 3am! And if it’s not for the party, the dogs do their best to keep me awake- not only do they lie/sleep in the middle of the street while we are trying to drive up or down it during the day, but they manage to stay awake and bark throughout the night.
Then there’s noise that’s closer to home, right next door to me - my flat mate closing our very loud steel door as she goes to the kitchen (sometimes at 5am – mind you she does try to keep it quiet) or my parents doorbell announcing the arrival of the bread man or the guards who need more diesel for the generator. Speaking of the generator- that is another source of noise on our compound, but fortunately it’s not so close to my room. I do live close to the Hunter’s room however- and they happen to have a very noisy AC unit- so I hear the constant humming of their unit throughout the night. Then there are the guards that patrol the compound, with their walkie talkies on of course (volume on high)! Actually I wish at times that I would hear more from them- then at least I know they are awake.
And last but not least…the rain. Especially now that the rainy season is here the rain can get quite loud! And actually, if it’s the rain that wakes me up, I usually peek out of my window and am amazed at the amount of water that falls to the ground!
Posted by Sandra's Latest... at 5:19 PM