Monday, June 4, 2007
thinking of flying?
I am relieved and excited that the "zinc" sheeting has arrived on the site and we have enough boards to complete the roof. The smell of creosote permeates any action on the site as we yell over the constant noise of the chainsaw.
Yesterday afternoon I bombed out to the old Kabala airstrip some 7 miles out of town. The small dirt road suddenly turns to ashphalt and about 200 metres later... there it is, a 1.25 km (measured at excitingly high speeds on my Honda XL) strip of pavement. Maybe 25metres wide. It is a very surreal thing to see, right there in the middle of the bush. In 1980 you could fly from Kabala to Freetown; Makeni; Bo; Kenema. There was electricity in Kabala and running water. It is incredible to see the direction the country has gone!
In related news, we have been shocked and many are mourning the loss of 24 lives on sunday evening in Freetown. The Paramount Airlines helicopter service running between Mammy Yoko Airport (in Freetown) and Lungi International Airport which I took on my arrival to Sierra Leone, had a serious accident. The helicopter exploded just before landing at Lungi airport killing all but one of the pilots. The passengers were primarily Togolese sports officials who had been in Freetown for the African Nations Cup qualifying match between Togo and Sierra Leone. Pray for the lives of the families as well as for Sierra Leone as the repurcusions from this event will be felt for a long time I fear.