Wow. The last week has been crazy. On Wednesday I had a really long day with a trip to Lungi airport which I'll write more about soon. Then on Friday I ended up having to go in to work from 8-12 to get last minute things done (like sort out documentation for a shipment of lab equipment coming to the hospital!). I left at noon and ended up in a traffic jam on Fourah Bay road, which is not so nice when you still have to go home and pack. However, I knew I didn't have to leave the house until 4pm and that if traffic was really not moving, I could even walk home in 1 1/2 hours! I made it home by 1:30pm and started packing and cleaning. I decided to take a small roll-on suitcase since I couldn't even think of what to take with me other than 2 pairs of jeans, two sweaters, some shirts, toiletries and a few other bits and pieces. I'm planning to take more on the way back!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
At 350pm Farah, my reliable taxi driver, showed up. We then picked up Shona's parents who had been visiting for 2 weeks and were on the same flight out as me, and headed to the water taxi. We were there by half 4 and it wasn't due to leave until 6pm. Finally we were on the water taxi and crossed over to Lungi. Before getting in the minivan we were all shocked when 6 men were carrying a women over to the boat. Apparently she had been sick for 4 days and her husband was trying to get her on a flight out but the airline wouldn't except her in such a bad condition. She was unconscious and I certainly hope she made it to a decent hospital in Freetown (of which there aren't many!).
I met up with my colleague/boss Tom at the Lungi side which was great, especially since he got me through the check-in line more quickly (with a silver card) and we later went into the business lounge, which isn't super but it has AC which was well worth it. The flight was supposed to leave at 945 but was postponed to 1145, meaning we had a really long wait in the airport. However, the plane was not going to stop for fuel in Malaga, so I guess that was a bonus.
I was so tired after a week with little sleep that I slept most of the flight. I didn't even notice the stewardesses come by with dinner or breakfast and I even missed some hype around a medical emergency which ended up not being a real emergency after all. Like I said, I was tired. Plus they did not call for a doctor, the stewardesses apparently followed a check-list. Anyway, I stayed put the entire flight!
We arrived in London at around 630 am and went to Costa for proper tea and a blueberry muffin. Delicious. We then took a cab to a friend's house - way too expensive - and thinking about the cost in Leones was shocking! After a shower and lovely chat we headed off to central london on the underground and then walked through town (past H&M!!!) to the Royal Society of Medicine on Oxford Street, where I am sitting now. It's a lovely place and quite a change to Freetown. Constant electricity, endless flow of water from the taps, the most amazing lunch with chocolates, raspberries, grapes, bread with cheese, quiche, etc. What a treat! Fortunately it's not so cold today!
We started our Directors meetings at 11 am and continued to 6 pm. It's been good and very productive but I am quite tired now. I'm done for the day, while the 5 directors meet for an hour or so without me. Tomorrow we'll have another day of meetings and then I'll head off to Holland on Monday. I can't wait to see family and friends.
PS: I am amazed at how fast internet is here!!!
Posted by Sandra's Latest... at 6:29 PM