Wholly Salone! In Sierra Leone the people call the country Salone! It's much easier to say. Kushay (not sure if that is how you spell it, but that is how you say it, it is one way you can greet people. It just means how are you, hello, or goodbye.... (I dont really know what it means, you just say it.)
This week has been full of so many new things for me! The flight to Salone from Ghana was not bad, it was about 3 hours, give or take. The food on the airplane was bomb. I think that is because it was good American food and not the MTC food. It was noodles with some sort of beef and sauce, ice cream, a roll, Sprite and apple juice! That was the first drink of juice that I have had in awhile. When the 18 of us landed in Lungi, a city near Freetown, the air was much more humid, and much warmer than Ghana. We met president and sister Ostler outside of the airport. President Ostler is way cool! He reminds me of president Brennan. We got on a bus that was packed full with people ... people were sitting on the floor and many on one a seat but luckily Elder Buah, my MTC companion and I got a good seat that was not packed! We traveled for about 10 minutes on a dirt road that was flooded with water, in fact all of the roads are flooded with water! It looked like Holy Jim trail, but flooded out, with a tropical jungle around it. We ended up at the beach. Besides the beautiful sand and palm trees along the coast, the beaches are not much, the water is filthy like after a big storm in California and the water was so choppy! We walked out on an old worn down peir that had a dock on the end of it and got on a 30 foot boat. The boat would take us accross the bay to Freetown. The boat ride was about 30 mininutes and was so fun! We were going like 30 mph on super choppy water, we would jump the boat on the waves and drop. It gave me the butterflies! All of the elders enjoyed it. We didn't get to take the hovercraft, but I have talked to some elders who have taken it, I am jealous. Before we left on the boat there was a child that had fallen off of the dock and drowned, it was sad and there were people on the beach crying. Children are not supervised here, they just do what they want. When we left, the people could not find the child. This was like the first impression I had in Salone and it made me a little scared about the country.
Freetown is so awesome! It is beautiful when you have a view from the sea but it is super crowded, and there is no space for anything. The roads are so crazy, there are people walking in the roads like the mexican boarder but the cars do not stop here! If you do not move you will get hit. The driving is a free for all here, with tons of motorcycles and the motorcycles are the taxis here! People will pile a family of 4 onto a 100cc motorcycle. I could not drive here! They use their horns as warnings that they are coming, so other cars or motorcycles will get out of the way!
When we got to the mission home it was late and we set up for sleeping and ate food! We all slept in one big room with matresses on the ground. We had misquito nets that covered all of us. If you dont sleep with one then you will have lots of misquito bites when you wake up. Its not bad sleeping under one, it feels like camping in a tent, its kind of nice!
We got our months money and the total came out to 489000 Leones which comes out to about 120 dollars. It is not hard to live on that for one month infact you can rent an apartment for 200 dollars a year here! This is one of the poorest countries in the world and it really shows.
We went to sleep and woke up at 3:30 am to catch the bus that runs to Bo where my first area is. I am in the west side of Bo. It's split into east and west. The west side has three branches. The bus ride is about 4 hours but our bus driver decided to go fast so we got there in three! This bus driver had skill! The rode to Bo is paved, and not as full of people, although you will pass a village every 10 minutes. The bus driver would pass normal traffic and not obey speed limits but that is okay because I have not even seen one police man here yet. There was some stinky fat lady sitting next to me on the bus, so it was hard to breath. I couldnt sleep because of the bumps in the road (they will put three small speed bumps in the road about every mile so you will slow down!) that was a long ride! We arrived an hour early at the bus stop in Bo, which really isn't a bus stop, it is a market. We must have been funny to watch, there was about 8 of us, and only 2 were black. So a bunch of white guys at a market in Salone have no idea where they are or where we are going. A member of the church noticed us, how couldn't you, we were the only white guys in Bo. She helped us locate the elders who are already serving here and we went to the apartment and dropped off our stuff.
My compaions name is Elder Hales. He is a really cool guys from south Utah. He has been out for 17 months now, he spent the last 3 months in a village in Kenema (east of Bo). Elder Hales has been very helpful and nice. He helps me speak Krio(which is just a really broken down english). In the MTC I learned some Pigeon, which is a common language in Africa, it too is a broken down English, but different from Krio. Every African can speak it. Elder Hales is easy to get along with and we teach well together. The apartment that we are staying in has 3 bedrooms and a small kitchen and a bathroom. The bedrooms have two beds and a desk, and a small dresser thing. The kitchen is the nicest in Salone. It has a mini oven and stove, hooked to propane, a sink with running water and a refrigerator. I wont see another one like it, we are so lucky to have running water. That will end in the dry season though but with running water comes a shower and toilet. The showers are so cold, the toilet is so deep that it always splashes back up, so I prefer to use the hole in the front yard. Our apartment is surrounded by a huge wall covered in barbed wire.They call them compounds. We have a nice one.
I have to go soon so I will just tell you all the sweet parts of this mission. We get to ride on the motorcycle taxis. Both me and Elder Hales and the driver fit on a bike that should only hold two people. I sit on the back with my feet on the swing arm. Its so fun but we usually only take those to church or other meetings. I wear sandals which is so awesome! But something that is not so great here is the nudity. It's no big deal here!
I must go. I love you and the church is true, I'll write more next week. I forgot to bring it with me, but I made a list of things that are unique to the MTC in Ghana! I will send it the next time I come on the computer!