As we travel on towards Kabala, we are taking periodic stops, to check on our bald tires, to stretch our legs, have lunch and allow Fr. Seraphim his prayer time.
It is lunch time and the road conditions will soon be getting worse, at this point they are only beginning to show what is up ahead. Only a few scattered potholes are present, but we know a few miles down the road; that will not be the case.We find a shaded spot to pull off and enjoy our lunch. There doesn't seem to be any villages around and we have a little time to ourselves before we reach Kabala and meet with all the school children. As we finish our lunch and begin to clean up,
Fr. Seraphim finds a space to do his Prayer Office, as Kadijah and I decide to find a private area in the weeds to go to the bathroom. Fr. Seraphim tells us that beyond the trail there is a small stream through the woods, so we head that way - only to meet a man on a bicycle coming out of nowhere. Apparently his village is way up beyond the stream. It is amazing, every time I believe I have total privacy in a thicket or jungle grove, out pops someone from thin air.
T.I.A.The man goes on ahead of us and Kadijah and I do our business and meet up with him at the car. As we talk with him, soon women appear (again from out of nowhere). are there 2 or 3? No there are more...Kadijah and I were just by the stream, and we didn't see anyone, no evidence of someone approaching, but sure enough here they come. I love it, I love Salone.
We've been granted yet another opportunity to meet new friends. We chat for a bit and then we must be on our way. There are many other stops to make before we reach our destination in Kabala.
Before we leave our new friends, I make sure to slip them a few leones as a gift to buy whatever supplies they may need. Everyone can always use a little extra.Just as we drive off, I look back and see the man on the bicycle has pulled out a cell phone from his pocket. He is calling his relatives to tell about our meeting. Another phenomenon, most people don't have enough food or necessary items to sustain themselves, but nearly all have cell phones. And they have service even in the midst of a jungle. My daughter in America told me that I came through clearer calling from Sierra Leone than when I am right next door to her. Remote villagers having cell phones puzzles people in the West, but not me. Cell towers are everywhere and this is a good thing. When you are stuck out in a village devoid of emergency medical facilities, etc. in the jungle, it is a blessing to be able to connect with someone and share your troubles.
Although it is a long drive and not an easy one at all, I love traveling to Kabala meeting the villagers as we go along. If we ever had the time, I would turn the trip into a three day journey stopping at every village along the way just to meet everyone. ..................Who knows, maybe next year, I'll do this.