Friday, September 22, 2006

Trip upcountry...

A few weeks ago 5 of us went on a road trip to Makeni to visit some friends, Annekoos and Bastiaan. They are from Holland but currently work at Magbenteh hospital in Makeni; she as a tropical medicine doctor and he as an engineer. They’ve been in Sierra Leone for a couple of months now. Annekoos has cleverly managed all sorts of medical/surgical cases and Bastiaan has done an incredible amount of work around the hospital which includes setting up the water system (a big task!). Needless to say they are kept very busy. However, they graciously opened up their home to us and we were happy to go upcountry (or 'upline' as the locals say) for a visit.

So on a Saturday morning we hopped in to a Terrano and made our way to Makeni. It took us a little time and some patience to get through crazy Freetown traffic, but once on the main road we were fine. There is actually quite a nice highway from Freetown to Makeni and three hours later we arrived at the hospital compound.

In the afternoon we were shown around the hospital. There were only 3 pediatric patients at the time. And most of the other wards were only half full. Which is good as the hospital is still in the initial start up phase. My favorite part was the feeding center. My heart goes out to those children. And it amazes me time after time to see how much of an effect food (or lack of it!) has on a child. Some of the children who had been there for some time looked great. Like Mohammed. He was admitted a month earlier and was now a chubby happy little guy. He sure brightened up my day! Of course there were a few new arrivals that were still pretty critical. Only time can tell.

In the evening we had the most amazing African dinner with about 4 or 5 various dishes. We were definitely spoiled. Later that night we went to an NGO party and met some of the other expats working in the Makeni area. We made sure we left by 11pm due to the recent curfew that had been set in Makeni due to increased crime.

On Sunday morning we were adventurous and hiked up the hill behind the compound. It was amazing to sit on the hill overlooking the countryside and enjoy our breakfast. What a beautiful country. It’s a shame that so many things are mismanaged here. If only we could change all of that.

The weekend was a success. It was fun to be up-country…what a difference. It is so quiet and peaceful. No traffic. No noisy neighbors. Few barking dogs. A lot of space. No walls around the house (although this is being worked on). It was a nice change.

1 comment:

Jacqueline said...

leuke foto's!!

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~