Sunday, January 13, 2013
Back at Tribe Wanted it is time for our final training session on the subjects of cross-cultural awareness and health & safety. Various potential work and social scenarios are imagined. After that Doctor Jack gives us the all-important lowdown on various health matters including malaria prevention and water-borne diseases.
I like that none of this has been superficial. Charlie and Dorset Alex, the bosses of the Collective, are not hippies or pretentious good doers or - worse still - charlatans. That was a potential fear I had about all this before I came out here; of wasting good time and money with a bunch of people who are not who you would wish them to be. But, after spending four days together, it is totally apparent that everybody - including the new batch of volunteers - is here for the right reasons and with good hearts.
Charlie, Doctor Jack (who puts me in mind of Russel Brand to such a degree that I think I might be tripping on palm wine), German Daniela and the crew depart for Freetown leaving only Ben, Dorset Alex, Jane, Kate and I. I take advantage of the low key vibe for the remainder of the day and watch the sun set from a horizontal position in a well-positioned hammock. As the moon begins its new cycle and the evening air cools, I find myself lifted by John O’Calaghan and Armin van Buuren tunes; a chilled bottle of Guinness special export in the palm of my hand. Beginning and ending my time in Sierra Leone with a holiday seems like the perfect way to first assimilate and then say 'adieu'.
The remainder of the evening is spent under the stars discussing why we are doing what we are doing; what we want to achieve; and our individual belief systems. I retire for bed with a few of the girls and boys who have come down for the weekend still sat around the crackling beach fire. Normally I'd be all over this and be the last man standing but I feel the need to be sensible and to remember why I am here.
More Than a Game joined The Collective and the Craig Bellamy Foundation in Sierra Leone for a seven-week voluntary placement in January 2013.