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The best of times, the worst of times

By on June 9, 2011 in Sierra Leone with No Comments

So, that’s our Africa trip over 🙁 Thank you everyone for reading all these blogs – I hope the Rwanda ones weren’t too much. Mostly good times, only a couple of bad moments, and all in all, the trip of a lifetime (until our next one).

Best moments

  • Seeing gorillas (Ide)
  • Children standing up and clapping me after my first lesson (Justine)


Worst moments

  • Breaking toilet seat in pitch black first night in Sierra Leone
  • Realizing I was going to have to teach the entire class on my own (Ide)
  • Being left in class with snotty Mr Koroma without Ms Jones for a day (Justine)
  • Climbing up the volcano listening to painfully annoying girls
  • The ferry to and from the Lungi airport


Funniest moments

  • Watching Ide trying to walk stubborn Bubbles to school
  • Dogs and chickens entering classroom while teaching (Ide)
  • Expression on Mr Korama’s face when asked to say at prayer for me at goodbye ceremony
  • Watching Haja try to get her car out of a mudpit.



Most memorable moments

  • Sue’s engagement and wedding
  • Listening to Mr Booma flog children on first day
  • Getting nearly pickpocketed in Ethiopia
  • Everything in Rwanda
  • Children in my class



Most disappointing

  • How poorly volunteer program had been set up
  • Lack of wedding proposals (Extra Mile director said we’d receive at least two per week)


Favorite sayings

  • “Clap for Jesus!!!”
  • “A lion has a big face and a small tail.” (when school children asked to describe what a lion is)
  • “If you commit bigamy you will receive seven years hard labor.” (said by registrant at Sue’s wedding)
  • “How di body?” (How are you?)


Least favorite sayings

  • “Eeeeah?” (Haja)
  • “Ishmaaaaael!” (Haja)
  • “Jackieeeeee!” (Haja)
  • “Hey you!” (Ethiopia)


Most useful items packed

  • Sarong
  • Flashlight

Least useful items packed

  • Dress shirts
  • Beanie


  • Everything
  • How safe Sierra Leone would be
  • How developed Rwanda would be
  • How few bugs there were
  • Fact that most people didn’t speak English in Sierra Leone
  • Poor education level of children in Sierra Leone


Missed from home the most

  • Electricity (Ide)
  • Fresh salad (Justine)


Sierra Leone

  • Friendliest people
  • Most amazing hairstyles
  • Dustiest
  • Most chaotic driving
  • Craziest
  • Best beaches



  • Best food
  • Best free internet connection in airport
  • Most smog
  • Most annoying street vendors
  • Most pickpockets
  • Most likely to ask for money
  • Worst toilets



  • Cleanest
  • Greenest
  • Worst food
  • Best gorillas and monkeys
  • Best place to recommend parents go on holiday


Thanks everyone for following our travels.  Bye bye until our next trip!


Justine and Ide


(P.S. If anyone would like to contact me my email is

[Update February 2014:  Well, Justine and Ide didn’t last the test of time, but both are back in San Francisco and happy (and so is Turkish).  Justine then met Rick under a series of bizarre circumstances and their adventures are coming up…]

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