Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas in Vancouver.... New Years in Kabala, Sierra Leone

I have now been in Sierra Leone for almost four days. I went from wet snow in vancouver to dry weather and 25 degrees! People think I am crazy here because I don't feel the cold. The winds are blowing through Kabala so it gets 'cold' in the evenings.
After arriving Sunday I went to visit the school. It is no longer the 'site.' It is now a real school and it is amazing! And that is without any students around. I cannot wait until monday when the students will all return from the holidays. I am hoping to spend long hours just walking around the school and seeing the children in classes and dreaming bigger dreams for developing the school and the area around it.
Unfortunately the internet here is not working great and I cannot load pictures of the school right now.
New years Eve was spent greeting many people. There were a long line of visitors to the house, and I took the afternoon to visit various homes in Kabala. There is not a big party during the evening. The church had a midnight service. Then on New Years morning everyone in town prepares to climb the hill above Kabala. Wara Wara Mountain. It was incredible. The town is buzzing with visitors from other parts of the country and abroad. Thousands of people climbed the hill. Probably 5-10 thousand people. Everyone got changed at the top into their nice clothes and then people milled about for hours until the sun began to set. Unfortunately the artists Dry Eye Crew were late coming up the hill and did not perform while I was there. So as it was getting dark we returned through the forest with the dust rising up through the trees as hundreds of kids climbed, walked, ran, stumbled, fell, and rolled down the mountain. A very memorable new years day.
Now I am thinking of all the things I would love to get done before I leave. Some for the school, some for my research.
Nevertheless it is good just to be back in this community.


Swallowfield said...

Dear Asha,
We don't need photos to picture your 'homecoming'. Wish we could be flies...or rather lizards on the wall. Greetings to all.
mom and dad

Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait to share the thrill of Monday -- double, triple enjoy for all of us who are blessed by the thought/imagining from a great distance.

Hope one year to share in that fabulous New Years tradition. I've heard about it for too long not to participate some day. Are you staying with JT??

Mud On His Shoes said...

Happy New Years Asher
Excellent work this year
You make me proud to be your brother.