Monday, February 12, 2007
finally I have received the Honda XL 125s Motorbike from Freetown. Already I am thankful for the mobility and freedom it affords me, and I am even more thankful to all of you who contributed towards this purchase. I no longer feel like I am burdening those who drive me around town, nor do I have to wait until their schedule fits in with mine. And in Sierra Leone, that can be very often because you always take the time to stop and greet people on the street. It is wonderful, and through all of the people here at CES and SIT I think I have met most of the important people in the town, many of the cheifdoms and even the entire district.
I am quickly learning how to ride the Honda around. It is far more effective than any other bikes or vehicles for getting around town, and more importantly for getting to the villages. But I am not quite experienced enough to take it to Foria this weekend- a 58 mile trip on entirely hilly terrain with holes everywhere.
In other news, my office/bedroom/living room was filled with 5 extra people last night as we put up three missionary families who had just fled from Guinea because of the riots in the capital that have spread to other major centres. The labour unions have vowed to protest (violently) the government until the President Gen. Lansana Conte steps down. He has been in power since 1993. It is apparently the most corrupt country in Africa and things have finally come to a head with over 70 deaths in the last few weeks from the rioting. Unfortunately, the President has vowed not to step down and to use as much force as is necessary to fight the unions. They claim they will sacrifice as many as is necessary until he is gone. They have just put in a 20 hour curfew and instituted Marshal Law. I fear there will be much bloodshed there before there is any peace. Hopefully the UN will step in soon, Guinea is after all the neighbour to the only "successful" UN military campaign here in Sierra Leone.
Pray for peace in West Africa. Guinea, Liberia, and Cote 'dIvoire are all experiencing extreme unrest right now. Here I am in Kabala, where things are all quite peaceful and beautiful right now as I look out over the town from the office.