last night i briefly told some friends about a trip that we took during my servant team. it was near the half-way point of our time in freetown, and we were traveling to tiwai island which is this really incredible locally-run wildlife sanctuary that is near themiddleofnowhere, sierra leone. i mentioned it in a post from june. anyway, tiwai itself was really amazing, but getting there was the real adventure. i know that this is just how they roll in most of the world, but i still laugh out loud that so many people can be crammed into a moving vehicle at one time... i'm guessing that the bus had seating for close to 30... and i'm guessing that there were at least 60 on board. most in our group were sitting on wooden boxes in the isle, sitting upright without anything to lean back on except a stranger's sharp knees, big backpacks on our laps, unpaved roads... best ab work-out ever! it was certainly miserable at times, but i will never ever forget when hillary and i decided to start counting the people in the front seat. i think that the driver had the only actual seat, but there was a fold-down bench too. okay, 9 (NINE!) people were in the front. and they were all having fun! someone was sitting on the dash like it was a bar stool. and of course, there were people standing on the steps, that makes sense. but there was actually a man sitting on the driver's left! i think we first counted 6 people, then we kept seeing more... there may have been some we didn't even see. but the next time i go to tiwai, i'm totally sitting/standing with those guys. it was like i had to sit for 8 hours in the most uncomfortable position imaginable, while i was watching a party in the front of the bus. torture.
so today i was thinking about one of my favorite days with the kids in kroo bay. leslie-the-genius decided that we could spend one of our tutoring days helping the kids make kites. it was really perfect because it obviously required some math and physics skills, but - seeing that leslie and i had no clue how to make a kite - it also gave the kids a chance to teach and learn from each other. it was a beautiful thing to watch, and it was great to see the kids interact with their neighbors and see everyone laugh and play and try to knock the other kites out of the sky. i tried to take pictures, but the kites were seriously so far up that my camera couldn't see them.
in closing, 3 things. first, how white do i look in that picture?!?! second, results of the election are still being calculated - no news. and third, the blog title is dedicated to the landreths who pioneered the WMF effort of piling into freetown public transport. and to brent who retells the story so well.