Two years ago I arrived in Freetown to start working for Welbodi Partnership at the Children's Hospital. It's hard to believe it's been 2 years. I remember arriving at the flat at night - I was the first Welbodi person to live in the flat - and it was pretty basic and bare. I was happy that it was in a neighborhood I knew a little, since I had spent 4 years living about a ten minute walk away. I remember waking up the first morning to a flood in the living room. It was the start of rainy season and at that time we had a leaking ceiling. I remember going to visit staff at the Aberdeen Centre the next day and being reunited with many friends. Sierra Leone soon felt like home again.
This evening my flat mate and I planned to go to a Bible study which was cancelled last minute. So instead we decided to head down to the beach for a walk and a quick dinner at one of the beach bars. A friend would pick us up later to drop us off at home. When I lived here with Mercy Ships before, I hardly ever ventured out with public transport. Now, it has become the norm. At the beach this evening I was reminded that this place is pretty amazing. Despite its challenges, it really is a great country with amazing places to visit and friendly people to meet.
The Children's hospital is, well, changing slowly. So often it's easier to focus on the hurdles and challenges and keep thinking about the many things that still need to be done. Sometimes we need to take a step back. To look. To observe. To reflect. To see what works and what has improved. I do believe that the children at the hospital are receiving better care now than they were two years ago. There's still a long way to go, but we're a few steps closer. I hope to continue to contribute to making the hospital a better place. I want to see this hospital change. I want it to be a house of hope. A place of peace. I want to see sorrow turned into joy and doubt transformed into confidence. I want to see dedicated staff. And I want to see more children walking out of the hospital with smiles on their faces. That's what I want to be a part of.
*Pikin means child in Krio