Saturday, October 16, 2010

Holland and Salone...

As much as I love being in Sierra Leone, there are definitely perks to being back in Holland for a few weeks. I forget about some of the simple joys of home. And it's nice to be away from a few of the annoying things in Salone, although having said that I am very happy to be going back tomorrow. I suppose every place has it's ups and downs. Below are some of the differences I noted while in Holland:

  • Being able to drink water from the tap (and not risk getting sick!)
  • Walking to town on my own without getting hassled
  • Not being asked “Will you be my friend?” by strangers
  • Riding a bike to town
  • Getting on a train to visit friends
  • Absence of car horns honking in the streets at all times
  • The quietness in the neighborhood
  • Eating cheese and drinking milk
  • Good water pressure in the shower
  • Not being asked for my phone number by anyone
  • No loud music during the night
  • Grapes and Pears (of course I'm perfectly happy with pineapples and mangos)
  • No malnourished children seen on a daily basis
  • Not needing to plan when to charge my phone based on availability of electricity
  • Lovely brown bread
  • Fast internet
  • No random phone calls waking me up at 2 am
  • Washing my clothes in a machine (not looking forward to the handwashing!)
  • Wearing winter clothes (I’m not a fan, can't wait to pull out the flip flops)
  • Seeing family (love you guys!)
  • No need to lie about my marital status to avoid marriage proposals
  • Watching television (although I don’t miss it at all when gone)
  • Getting my blood tested including iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid levels (wow!)
  • Lots of green grass
  • Feeding ducks and petting well-groomed dogs
  • Countryside with cows, sheep and horses
  • Daring to get in an elevator assuming it won’t get stuck due to a power cut
  • Traffic lights that work
  • Well-organized public transport (although not nearly as adventurous)
  • Not being confronted with children dying every day and the sound of mothers wailing
  • Enjoying the outdoors
Ah. So many wonderful things. I've left it all behind now as I am in transit to Freetown. I am ready for all that awaits me there and eager to get back to work at the hospital. There are so many great things about Sierra Leone - just to mention a few off the top of my head - sun, beaches, friends, great colleagues, purpose in my work, adventures - lots of good and challenging times ahead. Salone, here I come...

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