Our Seven Hills Global Outreach team left Freetown bright and early this morning to our destination of Bo in south central Sierra Leone. Leaving Freetown we drove through an impoverished slum where tens of thousands live on $1 a day and during the rainy season their shed homes are underwater. There is great poverty throughout the country, but it becomes more overwhelming in the city where so many are crammed together. On our way, we stopped at the only nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment facility in the entire country, serving 40 patients. We also stopped at one of the many village markets which sells fish, vegetables, and any imaginable piece of recycled clothing you could imagine. We bought fresh oranges a girl was selling for 2 cents apiece. We arrived at our guest house in Bo at 5:00 pm and will rush off to our first meeting with community leaders at 6:30. Tomorrow we visit our medical clinic, birthing center, and set off on a 10 mile walking trek to various remote bush villages throughout the area we serve in partnership. We are all looking forward to crossing streams and walking into the various villages I’ve come to love the many times I’ve been in Sierra Leone. Siwen and Qixian, my Clark students, have been remarkable in their interest and genuine concern for the people of this country. Noel and Michael- an IT executive from New York and human services CEO from Boston, respectively, are committing their vast intellectual capital to grappling with an understanding of how to affect sustainable change for the good in a country with such severe challenges. Spencer and Kellee of my staff are making certain everything is running smoothly- as always. Pics today include Qixian, Siwen & Pastor Kanu, my ” Sierra Leonian brother” at the drug treatment center; Spence and Qixian at a village market stop for oranges; Michael and Pastor ; and a shot of the vast open bush savannas stretching from Freetown to BO. On a personal note- I’ve been coming to Sierra Leone for nearly 7 years , as we’ve helped in the building of the Bandawa Health and Education campus, and the beauty of this country and its people has never ceased to amaze me. Though much is lacking in terms of economic, social , and environmental issues - there exists here a ‘strength of will’ to live and try again tomorrow. I’m pleased that we at Seven Hills are committed to the partnership we began with this country some 7 years ago. Everyone is well and we look forward to taking in as many experiences as we can while here. More on our West Africa 2017 journey tomorrow..
Dr. D. Jordan
- (“Dr. J”)