Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sierra Leone 1: Getting There With Pop

I was honored to be invited by my brother Jiwoh and Manja to preside over their wedding in Freetown. It was a beautiful day and time together. But getting to Freetown from Fort Worth for a "quick weekend" getaway isn't exactly like popping down to Corpus. So it took a little work.

Granmom, Tante, and Miriam went ahead of us to spend some time in Paris. So Pop, Uncle Joel, and I left DFW for Atlanta, and then on to Paris to meet up with them before flying to Freetown.
We left on January 6th, which is of course the Feast of the Epiphany when the 3 magi came to visit the Christ child. These three "wise men" were able to find their way through passport control in Atlanta and onto a plane to Paris. A plane where I was able to arrange for Pop and I to have exit row seats. Which was a lovely treat.

Of course I brought my copy of Tim Lull's Luther's works with me. A small volume to keep me company on the long journey. Ultimately we made it to Paris to meet up with our traveling companions. Paris, the city of light, which I was glad to see also had a Prada store just like the one in Marfa, Texas.

Glad to see the French are keeping up with West Texas Haute Couture fashion

Arriving in Freetown is always an adventure. The airport is an old British Airbase across the bay from the city. Negotiating the medical "checks," baggage claim, passport control, and ultimately the amazing number of "helpful" guides to get us to the water taxi is intense. Loud conversations about the number of bag tags finally get worked out and we got on a bus that took us down to the beach at Lungi. Where we walked along an old wooden bridge to get us to the boat in the dark. Always an interesting proposition.

That said. The boat was a lot better than the Libyan ferry from 2008. There was air conditioning, free sodas, and a bit of rest before we got the the offloading.
Thankfully, all the bags made it from the airport, to the vans, to the boat, to the dock at Aberdeen bridge. And there, there was Jiwoh. So we got everything loaded up and headed to our hotel. We were safely in Freetown and ready for a wedding weekend.

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