Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sierra Leone elections: Election morning...

7:05 am Going to vote in Wilberforce

4:45 am - I asked a friend to let me know when he goes to vote. He calls saying he is waiting in line at his voting center in Lumley. There are hundreds of people waiting already.

6:32 am - I talk to my friend again. I can tell there are a lot of people. The place sounds very noisy. Only 28 minutes to go. On my street I only see one or two people heading to the village.

6:56 am - The voting stations are about to open. I look onto my street and see small groups of people heading up to the village. The voting station is in the community center. It’s only about a 5 minute walk from my house.

7:00 am - Voting polls are scheduled to open. I assume they have.

7:31 am - I call my friend in Lumley again. The centre opened but they started calling for those with last names starting with a certain letter to come forward. Everyone is confused. The line broke and it became somewhat chaotic. My friend tells me the authorities are sorting it out. He's waited there for 2 1/2 hours and will continue to wait until he has voted and then head home.

9:25 am - Wilberforce is still calm. I can see people coming back from the community centre. They seem happy to have voted. Meanwhile, others are still making their way up to the centre. Osman calls again. Lumley is still crazy. A new line has been formed but it seems like they are still not doing a first come first served voting system. Hopefully they sort it out. It doesn't sound like there is any violence, it just sounds unorganized.

10:04 am - No news. Everythings seems to be going on as usual. Children playing on the street. A compound playing loud music. Little shops selling goods. In the compound opposite mine the men are tuned in to the radio, listening to what is happening around the country. 

For the most part I think expatriates are staying indoors today as a precaution. I know some people will likely head out later in the day or definitely tomorrow. Others have a three-day lock down. I'm in today and will work on an audit, and do some cleaning and baking. Tomorrow, I'll be outdoors again, unless we are officially told to do otherwise. There is a vehicle ban today so I suspect the streets are fairly empty, other than lines of voters. Stay peaceful Salone.

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