Pistols and Poise: Day 24 in Sierra Leone

Temperature gun - Mamadu Fever (>38C) is an early sign of Ebola so temperatures are taken several times a day at entry to Bldgs, and police roadblocks. Still “no touch” law, so taken with infrared pistol aimed at temple. Ocass misreads and need recheck – happen to me yesterday. 2nd was normal!Ocass 34C – so I check pulse for life signs.
 7 baskets on head lowres  Food on head lowres  I soon understood why many Sierra Leone women have great poise – it takes a straight back to walk with these loads atop their heads – and a very strong neck!PS. In 2nd Pic “Nor Pis Ya” is “No urinating here” in local Krio (creole)

Tried local dish FuFu this week – local colleague said “are you sure” and I bravely stated I like to try local cooked food. The fermented “roll” is from cassava flour and is consistency of playdough (it had pleasant sweet taste) – you dip it into soup – my soup was beef and fish and dark green vegetable and had a rancid taste. My colleague said it was dish only made on Saturdays – I tried as much as I could politely sustain. Very glad today’s Sunday!

At office this week, a colleague became very pale – she barely made it to the garden. I sourced water and cup and her colour returned eventually. A timely warning of “If you can’t peel it, don’t eat it”. I had tummy episode Thur but worked out it was the quantity of chilli in the goat-pepper soup – goodness the Sierra Leone’s love their chilli! I’m still checking if my lips are still there.

This week I was a millionaire! – at 5,000 Leones to 1US$, $200 makes you a millionaire. Jokes aside, I do not know how the SL people survive as prices are high compared to wages – of those that have work. A nurse manager earns about $12 a day.

This Fri, 2 of 3 Provinces are in 3 day “Lock Down”. No shopping, no traffic, no-one outdoors – everyone has to stay home. This is only 2nd in 6 months and is to enable 7,000 health workers to visit every home and advise on Ebola safety and hand out brochures – in an effort to eradicate the disease.

Sunday here – our day off – only 1 work mtg scheduled – 8 of us went to beach for lunch – an earned break.

Warm regards to you all, Terry

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