Friday, September 28, 2007

Bye bye SL – 27th September 2007, 1742hrs

I’m on my way out of Sierra Leone today, bound for Accra. Upstairs in the restaurant I’m sitting at the same table I sat at in December last year. Then I was with a colleague, going through a process of taking on a market that till then was his responsibility. I admit freely, my success these last nine months has been due to his initial efforts.
My journey, so far, has been productive. Some of the markets are doing well and show tremendous growth potential, a few have needed to be re assessed; all of them are doing ok.

I’ve enjoyed my stay in SL, but I say that of all the places I travel to! I wish that I could find something positive about Guinea, but so far, very little has really become apparent.

I like Freetown for it’s atmosphere, and perhaps because I feel closer to my client here. In second place comes Banjul, for its restaurants and bars provide some welcome distraction after a day’s work. Bamako next, the Accra followed by Ouagadougou and Lome. Dakar will eventually move up if I get opportunities in the future to visit it again.

And that future is a little murky. In spite of my efforts, I feel alienated from my organisation. It concerns me greatly, for I like what I do, and me thinks that I leave no real room for any concern about the end results. And yet, yet I feel unappreciated….

Last night I took sometime off. Ended up at what is supposed to be a landmark of Freetown, Paddy’s Bar in Aberdeen. It was awfully quite when I walked in late evening, and the first two hours were spent sipping beer watching CSI! But the place did pick up and it was quite an experience to watch the local life around me. T’was 1 am when I laid my head upon my pillow!!

Sierra Leone is another land with potential, and me hopes that with the recent change in government, it will be well on its way towards progress. The new president is reputed to be a hard worker, appearing at his office well before 7 every morning, making surprise visits to the various ministries – I wish him well.

By the way, I took my first Hovercraft ride today…. It was quite something. The motion once at sea is a gentle rocking as the craft skims over the waves, quite a relaxing movement marred only by the noise the mixture of low and high pitch sounds can be irritating after a while.

The trip lasted a little more than 15 minutes I think. Highlight was the moment the craft lifted
itself upon the aircushion, lovely!

On my arrival I used the helicopter service. I subsequently heard about the two crashes last year, both resulting in fatalities. That service is no longer functional and another one taken it’s place, supervised I was told by the UN. I think I will stay with the hovercraft though in future. – Occupational hazards I guess

I’m tired. This trip has been exhausting, one day running into another, the constant need to be alert, it can be quite draining. I think I reach home on a Saturday. I have HUGE plans for the Sunday – to do absolutely nothing, except to loll in bed, watch some TV, eat a buriyani for lunch and sleep some more.

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