Before I began telling of our trip to Sierra Leone, I first wish to share with you today some wonderful news from our Nazareth House Apostolate Chapter in Bishop, Georgia!
Lil' Chloe Akridge
has completed her Chemotherapy Treatment and is free from Leukemia.
If you are new to this blog and don't know her story, you can read about it on her blog "Chloe's Touch". Fr. Seraphim and I welcomed the new year
with the Akridge family, but that celebration pales to the welcoming of this fresh start, new beginning, new life. This is events really starts their New Year!
God bless you, Chloe and your dear, dear family. We love you and are overwhelmed with the joy of this news. Glory be to God and thanks to all of you for your continued prayers.
LUNGI, SIERRA LEONE
Looking out from the Standiford Field Airport Window in Louisville,
we await our plane to begin our journey to Sierra Leone. Traveling from Louisville to Chicago to London to Lungi to Freetown.
Port at Lungi, Sierra Leone
This trip generally takes 24 -26 hours to complete (depending on how fast the ferry to Freetown goes or if we take the helicopter). Emily, Fr. Seraphim and I began on March 8th around 3PM arriving in Lungi on the Evening of the 9th. Captain Brima of the Sierra Leone Army was there with James to greet us. We were relieved and pleased that the Freetown National Airport (Lungi) was no problem; we maneuvered through quite easily.
Having weathered the airport without difficulties we loaded up the vehicle with our 6 large suitcases and 6 small carry-ons. The driver made way to the ferry. We waited...and waited but the Ferry chose not to make the crossing into Freetown this night. So other plans needed to be made.
Knowing that Lucy and Ann Marie, back in Freetown, had an important test scheduled for the next day, we decided it would be best to get to Freetown as fast as possible so that James could be there to support his daughters. Therefore, we began to travel around the point towards Freetown, in the middle of the night. Roads are not bad, but not good and it can be a long difficult journey. We thought we could make it by morning. We thought wrong.
Several miles down the road in the dark night, our car broke down. Thankfully Captain Brima was able to flag down a motorbike and get to the Army Barracks and secure us a car to take us to the Lungi Hotel. There we stayed the night and arrived at the Ferry early in the morning to be on the first transfer into Freetown.
We were the first in line and able to greet and talk with others as they loaded up onto the ferry.
This was a newer ferry, from Greece. Fr. Seraphim and I had not been on this one. It is in better condition than any of the others we've been on for this little sail into Freetown.
With all of our luggage, the Ferry is the best form of transportation upon arrival. The helicopter charges for extra weight on each of your bags and the Ferry is only about $5 per car regardless of how much your car is loaded.
As the morning sun rises,
more and more people file in to board the ferry.
Some people make their way onto the boat
by walking through the water.
Whatever direction they come from, the boat is certainly filling up.
Not only with loaded cars and trucks, but people are carrying heavy loads on their heads, as well.
Lungi is the first sight of Sierra Leone
for those entering the country by commercial plane.
I always enjoy the view with the boats lined along the shore.
It is rural area, but growth is taking place there as it is all over the country.
Driving onto the ferry can be a bit tricky, but our driver had no problem.
This particular ferry we were on crossed the waters a bit faster than others.
It is a nice way to get a panoramic view of Freetown
as we approach its port.
Once in Freetown, arrival at St. Laurence House is always exciting.
Seeing everybody again after missing them for so long is always a wonderful time.
Once all the hugs and greetings are done,
its time to start unpacking; sorting out all the supplies.
Bit by bit we unload the suitcases all the while, searching for that favorite thing of Kadijah...
"Hellman's REAL mayonnaise!"
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