Finding My Feet in Sierra Leone

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Dalai Lama

20161218_130646Tokay  Beach

I have now been in Sierra Leone for a little over a month at the time of writing this blog, and I am slowly feeling I have found my feet in Sierra Leone. It is strange reflecting on how had circumstances been slightly different I would have been working in Accra, Ghana and having a completely different experience. Looking back, whilst I was so disappointed that the opportunity to live and work in Ghana didn’t occur, I think I am exceptionally lucky to have found this posting to Sierra Leone. The work has been fascinating, intense and (I hope if all goes well) will contribute to meaningful change in Sierra Leone.

20161218_165502“No Bad Thoughts” – Sitting at The Place 
Thank you to the lovely lady who gave me this note!

That of course may just be because I am writing this blog in Sierra Leonean Paradise – Aka The Place – It really is the place to be. One of the groups I am working with here are having a quick retreat here and I was kindly asked to join them and I have made it an early Christmas present to myself. It seems this is what I needed to feel calmer, more relaxed and happier than I have previously felt here in Sierra Leone. Yet as relaxing as it is, I feel it isn’t just being on a beach that is contributing to this. Sitting on the beach is just allowing me the time to reflect and realise that I am feeling more comfortable and that I have finally found my feet.

20161219_145906Lunch at the Sands

This isn’t to say that I have it all figured out. So many things continue to baffle me and I have big decisions to make still like where I should live in the future, whether I should try and buy a car, and most importantly, trying to get my final ToR and contract for my Fellowship agreed to and signed. And yet, unlike a few weeks ago where everything – even small things – seemed like conquering a mountain, now issues that present themselves seem manageable and don’t leave me exhausted.

20161219_115347Working in Paradise 

Now I am sitting at the resort – watching waves roll in and the sea glitter with millions of tiny diamonds spread across its surface – drinking a beer and writing this blog. And I think to myself, whilst it will be sad not to spend Christmas with friends and family at home, I wouldn’t change this for the world. It has certainly been a story thus far of resilience, adaptability and rapid change, but I have met wonderful people who I feel will be friends for life, and the work is fascinating.

20161218_185301

Thus far, it has been an experience like no other.

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