Monday, September 17, 2007

Excitement in Sierra Leone as the new president is announced...

7:27 am
I get a message saying SLPP is going to court at 9 and the final results should be announced at 10. Seems awfully quick for a court decision. We’ll find out soon enough. Everyone is proceeding with caution…

7:30 am
We leave the team house in a Terrano. 5 minutes later we are stuck in traffic prior to the Lumley roundabout. Check points. Since we were in an NGO car we were waved through. Those in public transport were less fortunate. Taxis were emptied, bags were searched etc. Police, Military Police, Special Forces. Everyone is involved. It’s just a safety measure…

8:00 am
We arrive at work. A little later than usual. Surprisingly a lot of the staff managed to make it to work on time. Of course some of them passed a few check points but overall they didn’t seem too bothered. Another surprise was that there were quite a few children at the gate waiting for the clinic to open. I thought maybe they would stay away. No one seemed to mind traveling today…

9:00 am
I pass through the waiting room and see a number of people with hand held radios; not a sight usually seen. Everyone is waiting for the results. I keep asking one of the father’s if there is any news yet. Nope not yet…

10:30 am
I am seeing a patient in my office. All of a sudden I hear a lot of cheering. The noise outside of my office became louder and louder. Everyone seems happy. Lots of excitement. The results have been announced. The waiting room has never been so noisy. APC won…

11:00 am – 4:00 pm
As I continue seeing patients in my office I can see the street through the window. I see people in red and white dancing down the street. I hear lots of whistles, car horns, cheers. I see 4 guys dressed in red shirts holding up a huge Ernest Koroma poster, followed by a poda poda (public transport van) driving by slowly with APC supporters. People are starting to party on the streets. Hopefully it will stay calm…

3:30 pm
I hear Christiana Thorpe on the radio. Saying the results are final. Apparently there are still some allegations. But the results won’t be affected. Good news for APC…

5:00 pm
We are going home. In two cars, one behind the other, just in case there is any trouble. I’m sure that our neighborhood is pretty excited. It’ll be interesting to see what’s going on there…

Please continue praying for Sierra Leone. The elections are over. Things are peaceful. The winners are ecstatic, which means the losers are disappointed. We hope for ongoing peace!

2 comments:

Brooke said...

Sandra,

I found you through Luke's flickr site. It's Brooke Fitts (once Orred). I have vague ship memories with you and King's Kids Russia memories. It was fun for me to see your photos and what you are doing. I'm living in seattle and working as a freelance photographer. (www.brookelynphotography.com)
my desire is to do more photography for non profits and humanitarian aid groups. so if you ever hear of a need, please keep me in mind. Best to you!

Brooke

gisela said...

hi sandra, just wanted to let you know that i always read your blog. it is one of the few ways to stay in touch with sl. i always love what you write

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