On hearing about Ibrahim’s death on Tuesday I decided I needed to visit Wara, Namina, Saidu and family in Bailor town to express my sympathy and encourage them. Osman kindly agreed to drive me there, which was great since he is also a friend and knows the family too.
For some reason I was nervous about the trip. I was not sure how the family was doing and unsure what was expected of me. However, I knew I had to go. I prayed for wisdom, sensitivity (knowing culturally what was okay) and safe travels. Osman is a great driver but his car, ABJ, is not the most reliable. I love and hate that car! Also, it was middle of rainy season and the roads and bridges had been damaged. There was a possibility that we would have to take a detour. Only time would tell.
We had an early start on Saturday. The drive to the ferry was fine. The ferry crossing was perfect. We met up with Saidu in Lungi and had breakfast. We then continued on to Bailor. We had to stop at a checkpoint, which was troublesome last time but we made it through quickly without any problems. Saidu said that the bridge had been fixed and was better than last time and so we thought we would try the usual route. Thankfully, the bridge was intact. After the bridge we drove through a mud pool and that didn’t stop us either.
When we arrived in Bailor town people surrounded us within seconds, mostly children. We were taken to the landing outside of the house and I waited for Wara to appear. As soon as she came out I got up to meet her. As I embraced her, she started to weep. Her deep sorrow was so apparent. This woman has been through so much in the last few years. She has sacrificed a lot for her family. And now she was in need of comfort. And that is all I could do. I had the chance to talk to her a little later to encourage her. She’s an amazing woman and I hope that she will sense His peace and comfort.
Namina was in great form and quite cheerful really, which was good. I wondered what was going through her mind though. I spent some time playing and doing some crafts with her and her brother in Saidu’s room. It was nice to have some quality time. I also ended up doing a consultation for an aunty. She had been unwell for a few days. I had come prepared with a stethoscope and some medications for children, but had not expected to see an adult. There wasn’t a whole lot I could do. For the rest I spent time playing with children, went around the village with an aunty to meet ‘everyone’, watched the end of a football match in the ‘cinema’ with Osman and Saidu, waited while the aunty bought fish from the fishermen on the beach, had some coconuts, etc. I didn’t want to take many pictures because this visit seemed a bit different, however, the children kept asking, so just before leaving, I took out my camera. They loved it.
I have to say it wasn’t an easy trip. It was tiring. I fell asleep on the ferry back to Freetown. But it was a good trip. It was the perfect time for me to visit Namina and her family again. And I was worried for no reason. Everything went as planned. Besides a few awkward moments (being stared at by like 20+ people) it was a perfect day.