Angela's report from Sierra Leone – day 6
We’ve been following Angela Mason, Women of Vision’s Senior Advisor, who is currently in Sierra Leone with ABC 7 News finding stories on World Vision sponsorship, maternal health and water. Read Angela’s previous reports: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 and Day 5.
Today was the team’s final day in Bo. As Carolyn and Tim (from ABC) completed the last filming details, Angela was in charge of “crowd control” as many people gathered to watch. As she was asked many questions by the crowd, she took the time to explain why they were there and the stories they were covering. Angela says that the ad hoc conversation which followed about the issues of water, health and children’s futures in the regions was wonderful. She was particularly moved by the story of an elderly farmer, who truly supports his family with subsistence farming. He called their lifestyle “live by day” which Angela says means a “day-to-day existence.” Many people in this region don’t have money; instead, they live by trading things. She watched a group of women put a group of clay pots in the river and learned that they will go back for their pots later as little fish will be in them – their dinner. Angela was also touched by watching some women go down to the river with dirty laundry on their head to wash their clothes in the dirty river – and they were smiling and humming. This crowd wasn’t looking for a hand-out or begging for help; instead, they were simply sharing about their lives, the challenges they face each day and their hopes and dreams for the future. Sometimes simple improvements can make a huge difference – what a change if these farmers had some tools, or some additional seeds, or even (as the elderly farmer shared his big dream) a catwalk across the rice paddies so they could still get to their crops during the floods without wading through shoulder-high water?
After the final filming was complete, the team left Bo and drove the five hour bumpy road back to Freetown. Upon their arrival, they enjoyed a wonderful dinner (barracuda and chips!) by the ocean with Jen Harold, the National Director for World Vision Sierra Leone. We look forward to the team’s safe return soon!