Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sierra Leone.....An Update

I've settled back into life quickly here in Sierra Leone, within a day it always feels as though I've never left. I'm always surprised how easily I slip to and fro between my two lives......although I think it takes me longer to settle back into life in the UK than it does to settle into life in Sierra Leone - I guess that's because I'm in SL more than I'm in the UK.

A group of kids from the local primary school have taken to popping in to see me during their break time, which is nice. Some of the UK forces who were working here at Kerrytown Ebola Centre left a lot of biscuits and cake with me, so we are sharing a few of these out with the kids whenever they come around.

Yesterday was my first day back in the office - I'm borrowing a classroom again at the Hosetta Abdullah school. They only have morning lessons, which leaves the classrooms empty in the afternoon and the headmistress has kindly offered me the use of a classroom in the afternoons. I'm so pleased that I'm able to base myself there again, it's such a nice environment.

I will be meeting with between three and five sponsored students and their guardians each day so I can check how they are getting on and make sure they have everything they need.

It's the beginning of the rainy season here - so while it's still hot and humid during the day most nights there are storms. I'm going to try growing some vegetables and flowers and I'm told now is a good time to sow them, so we are going get started on that this weekend.

Ebola has diminished a lot since I left here just over a month ago, both in new cases and in the minds of people. I remember a few months ago it was the main topic of conversation, there was fear in the air, people were suspicious of each other........that has declined enormously now. When I arrived there was a form to fill in and a temperature check and there are still handwash stations outside a lot of businesses.....but it doesn't seem to be at the forefront of people's minds anymore.

I will be visiting Dr Koroma of the Waterloo Adventist Hospital at the weekend - they plan to close at the end of this month as an Ebola centre and then work on reopening as a hospital. It will be such a relief for everyone when hospitals go back to operating as normal again as it has been so hard for people to get medical treatment these past few months. It will be a relief to me personally as that's the hospital I go to if I get sick - I've been a bit worried about getting sick and not being able to get treatment.

I've been following the Weightwatchers eating plan for just over a month - I'm following the online program as I didn't want to go to meetings and the application makes it easy. I wasn't sure how well I would stick to it when I was in Salone, but so far I'm getting on ok with it. I have my usual cereal and a banana for breakfast, then a light lunch and rice in the evenings where I substitute plassas for tuna or chicken. For snacks I have bananas - I never used to like bananas, but just recently I can't get enough of them.....and the bananas here might not be the most attractive to look at, but they are SO tasty!! I have a banana tree in the garden - I'm looking forward to the day I can have bananas from my own tree!!

I went to the supermarket to stock up on some provisions to make it easier for me to stick to WW - rice cakes, hotdog sausages, lots of fruit, potatoes and some salad. It was my first weigh in since I arrived back yesterday and I've lost another 1.5lbs......which means I've lost 5% of my original starting weight! I might just celebrate with a rice cake!!
In the past I've drank a lot of coke and sprite - but I've replaced that with water so I'm sure that will help with my weight loss. Since I started Weightwatchers I've lost 9lb.

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