Wednesday, January 23, 2013 (Day 14)
My legs are like lead and I couldn't have got more than three hours sleep last night. So much for playing football every morning; no chance I could even complete a couple of warm-up laps of the pitch with how I feel today. It was a particularly silly night of dreams on the Larium including one about The Collective being sold for $14 billion and another particularly absurd one where I get to hear, through a friend, that the insects have been plotting to storm my mosquito net. In the dream I prepare a second inner mosquito net to protect me ahead of their attack.
So there is no football training for me plus Charlie is coming up to visit today so I would like to get all of my stuff together ahead of his arrival. I write up my first bi-weekly progress report and prepare my own personal report listing my observations and recommendations for how the CBF league can be improved. I love what the CBF is doing but I think we can take it to a much higher level.
Charlie's car breaks down on the edge of Makeni, meaning we end up meeting at 2.30 rather than 1pm. His parents are visiting him in Sierra Leone for the first time and have driven up with him, his girlfriend Steph, and the new CBF volunteer for Makeni, Charlotte (who is replacing the departing Jayne). We steal a few minutes to go through everything. For me, my meeting with CBF headquarters next week is vital in deciding how I will spend the remainder of my time (roughly four weeks) in Sierra Leone.
Charlie's mum, Steph and I enjoy an afternoon drink at the Wusum Hotel on the edge of town. This place cost millions to build and will set you back upwards of $150 per night for a double room. The resident guests are nearly always foreign miners working in the region; money being no object to their bosses. Oh my God! They have air conditioning! I am tempted to sneak upstairs and break into one of the rooms where I could happily sleep for a week.
With the new girl introduced to her new colleagues at the Micro-Finance office, Charlie and his father take the car to be repaired by Danish Jesper, who is the local 'quick fit' man in town. Luckily for Charlie's family the job is completed in enough time for them to drop me back in town and for them to set off before dark to reach the cashew nut plantation where they are spending the night.
Drifting off to sleep I hear what I think might be intruders in the house. It turns out to be Alasund bringing the second of our new housemates into the building. I shout something along the lines of: Who the hell are you? And what are you doing? That would strike the fear of God into anybody. The new girl, whose name I didn't catch, looks rather startled by my opening greeting.
More Than a Game joined The Collective and the Craig Bellamy Foundation in Sierra Leone for a seven-week voluntary placement in January 2013.