Mile 91

Trip Start Nov 28, 2003
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Trip End Feb 27, 2004


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Flag of Sierra Leone  ,
Monday, December 15, 2003

Yesterday we went on an excursion to Mile 91, which is a tiny village east of Freetown, where a cultural festival was due to open. It was the most amazing experience! To get there we had to tackle huge stretches of road that were littered with massive car swallowing potholes, created be the RUF rebels during the conflict. When we got there the festival organizers insisted that I walk at the front of the parade (through the center of town, which involved doing Boo Boo dancing for 2.5kms in the blazing midday sun. But the amazing thing was that they had never seen a white person dance, so the whole town came out to see and were talking about it for the rest of the day. My friends said they kept overhearing people talking about the 'Oportu' (white person) who had been dancing. On arriving at the performance grounds they did all the official speeches, half way through the MC turns around and says that I should say a few words... I was very surprised and had no Idea what I was going to say, then a few minutes later he turned around again and said that the Minister for Youth had not been able to come and that I should officially open the festival. I was even more flabbergasted, it didn't make any sense to me, particularly since none of them had any idea who I was. So I got up and put together a few dodgy arse encouraging type words... not very eloquent at all, which they then translated into Temne. Then to top it off the whole thing was broadcast on national TV!

After the official ness was over I went to try and find a spot to cool down, after all the walking in the heat I was looking a bit like a lobster, sweating lots and covered in dust. But where ever I went this massive crowd of kids were following me. I went to say hello and shake some of their hands then I had to shake all of their hands and by this time the crowd had grown to around 100 kids, all swamping me. It was insane... I felt like a rock star!

The cultural performance didn't actually start that day and they told us we should come back on Thursday or Friday to see it in full swing, but I did get to see some amazing Bamboo flute type instruments. So I will try to find a teacher back here in Freetown to teach me how they are played and how to make them!
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Comments

sadnan
sadnan on

I was mile 91. nice city. nice people.

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