Friday, January 11, 2013 (Day 2)
Tribe Wanted, John Obey
Afternoon training involves us focusing on our own individual goals. What are our personal reasons for being here and temporarily leaving our old lives behind us? Yes, what did make me wake up one day and decide I was going to move to Sierra Leone to volunteer for a couple of months? It is mental when you think about it.
With training finished by about six there is enough time before the sun goes down for me to take a second (longer) jog along the deserted peninsula. Out of sight of Tribe Wanted I take a break from my run to stop and look around at this beauty before my eyes. It is said that Sierra Leone is home to West Africa’s best beaches. But a world-class beach needs to be so much more than a vast pile of pretty sand and omnipresent crashing waves. Here at John Obey you have a gorgeous stretch of untouched beach with the crashing sea on one side of it and a totally calm lagoon on the other; framed by incredible lush rainforest and soaring mountains. I have to pinch myself (around the area where I put almost three kilos on over Christmas) that I am here. There is not a single place in Europe that I have seen that comes close to the six-star beauty in front of my eyes. I bet some of the world’s richest men have never set foot in a place as beautiful and untouched.
I finish my jog with another dip in the ocean and rinse the sand off in the bucket shower on the beach close to my tent. Dorset Alex and I recite our respective stories about living in Bournemouth, tell some of our more colourful travel stories and enjoy a sundowner Star Beer together watching the dusty sunset caused by the sands of the Sahara - the harmattan - that blow here in the atmosphere at this time of the year. Dinner is an absolute feast, especially for the non-vegetarians who dine on freshly caught fish washed down with white wine. I am the first to retire for the evening sensing that if I join the others by the camp fire I will drink far too much of that wine, talk far too much nonsense, fail to write my day’s blog and struggle to get up at 6.30 tomorrow morning for our six-hour hike to the summit of Picket Hill.
More Than a Game joined The Collective and the Craig Bellamy Foundation in Sierra Leone for a two-month voluntary placement in January 2013.