Wednesday, May 18, 2011

River celebrations

So for Easter and Independence Day, the big venues for celebrations are the neighboring rivers. We went to (misspelled) Mayoko and Makoikoi. I'll paint the picture of these events. We approach the front gate, aka tarp, where two men ask for the entrance fee. We pay our 2,000Le and work our way down a slope of sand and rocks that I nearly die twice on. I died on them last time. For Mayoko, we get down, and there's a forest on the right and, across the river, a huge beach packed with hundreds of Sierra Leoneans in various stages of nudity. Foday and I wander over, buy some warm beer, and settle down to people-watch and be part of the fun. There's a huge speaker system blasting African tunes, and while hot, we had a lot of fun. For Makoikoi, there is no beach, but an island where everything happens. We had learned our lesson and so we brought palm wine and popcorn (which we ended up sharing) and did more of the same. Foday and I went swimming in the river (probably not healthy) and again had some warm beer and relaxed. It was an amazing experience at both events to see SO many people together at once to celebrate, in such a sublime environment. Amazing that the rivers look like something you would see in Illinois. Just beautiful. I love and miss you all.

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