Strange Local Life in Sierra Leone, West Africa
We are in the local bus, he is taking me somewhere, I don't know where he is taking me. There are many gold and diamond mines in the remote place of this country. Ethnicity has completely changed here. This is TVS and that is Bajaj. This is why this place known as Freetown. Hey guys very good afternoon from a new country, Sierra Leone.
This is my 8th country in this trip. This is the next day, yesterday I came here at 11 o'clock in the night. I left Guinea Conakry in the morning at 11 o'clock, then I reached Freetown in the night at 11 o'clock, after 12 hours of journey. To cover 250 km it took 12 hours. When we reached here at yesterday night 11 o'clock, there was no light so I couldn't shoot any video.
I had exit immigration from Guinea and entry immigration from Sierra Leone. Both asked very easy and only few questions, they asked the profession and purpose of travel. Guinea people tried to ask money from me. I started to shout, I asked them for what reason are you taking money? Give me the reason. I told them to show me a written notice for what reason they want money.
When I started to shout at them, they told me to go. We cannot talk anything in the entry immigration, because they have to give visa for us. But while in exit if any officials are asking money you can ask reason why they are taking money. When people from border or officials in immigration counter ask money, I start to shout at them.
I asked them the reason for what they need money. Then they told me to go away. I heard many people telling, officials will ask money in Sierra Leone. But nobody asked money in Sierra Leone, so I entered this country very easily.
I had taken visa from Conakry for $80, I have already told you. I am staying in Freetown which is the capital of Sierra Leone. I am in the outskirts of the city. This is the village and the time is 1 p.m.
I am staying with some people in this village. I cannot see everyone, after everybody comes I will introduce them. The country name is Sierra Leone, but local people call it as Salon. The official language is this country is English. Britishers had colonized this country. Around 70 years back, in 1961 Sierra Leone got independence from Britishers.
English is the official language and many people speak English. I will introduce you to some of the locals here. His name is Abdullah, he has invited me to stay in this place. She is the mother of Abdullah. I have come inside the house, I am staying in this house.
This is the guest room. There are two rooms, one on the left and there is one more room on the other side. Electricity is a big problem in Sierra Leone. Electricity is not regular in this village. When I woke up in the morning, Electricity was not there, now it has come. We don't know when the electricity will go.
This is Cassava the local traditional food, I will taste this. It is very sticky. Currently, I am making coffee this is the coffee powder, milk powder and hot water. I have purchased this biscuit from local markets yesterday. This is potato flavored biscuit, made in Bangladesh which is available here in Sierra Leone. She is the sister of Abdullah.
Cassava which I ate this is the same thing. Many local dish are prepared from Cassava, it is a local plant. It looks like Atta. If you remember, when I was in Guinea Bissau, the official language was Portuguese these but Creole was spoken there. It is a Portuguese based language which is very similar to Portuguese. Similarly the official language here is English.
But a local language Creole is spoken here. It is very similar to English, you can also tell it has been derived from English. An Indian also stays in this town, he had invited me. But I had talked with him yesterday, so I have came here.
Today night or tomorrow morning, I will go to his place. These are chicks which are black and white in colour. In Sierra Leone there are very famous gold and diamond mines. Gold and diamond are being mined in this country.
The area which we are staying is surrounded by hills we are going on the top. They are telling we can find a panoramic view. This is groundnut plant. If any plantation is seen in the West Africa, it is only of groundnut. This is Cassava plant all the local dishes are made using this plant. This is the way to reach to the top, the road is very slippery because it had rained in the morning.
It has been situated on the hills. In 1990 civil war broke out in the whole of Sierra Leone. Abdullah told me all people ran and came to this hill. They came and started to live on this hill to save their life. They started settled permanently with time.
This is the locality which is situated on the hill in Freetown. This is a shop. We get all the necessary items here. This is a Welding shop.
Since the city is located on the hills, the temperature here is less than the other cities. In Sierra Leone 75% follow Islamic and 20% follow Christianity. Remaining 5% follow the religion of their own. As we go out from this country, the Islamic religion will become less and Christianity will be seen more.
She is a local from this place, she has tied her baby in the back. When I came out of India, I had only one country Visa, which is Morocco. This is my 8th country in this trip, I did not know that I will travel so many countries in this trip.
I will keep travelling till I get the visa for other countries. If I don't find visa, I will go back to India. There is mountain on this side the view is very beautiful and people are doing their work.
Strong wind breeze is also seen. There is also a national waterfall, which is not seen from here it is very far. I had a very good experience in Gambia but in Guinea Bissau. People were not knowing English, so I did not had good experience. I am getting the same feeling which I faced in Gambia. Every people know English and can speak English. She is selling fried chicken and sausages.
This is local delicacy and local street food. Abdullah is telling more than 90% of vehicles here are of TVS company. Many youth work in this as a moto taxi. Wherever you go in the entire country, you can see moto taxi people standing. Abdulla is telling India and Syria Leone was colonized by Britishers. He was telling, when Britishers had not come to India, India used to be a very rich country in entire world.
It was a very powerful country and had a lot of wealth. Britishers came and colonized India and to took a lot of wealth. In the remote places of this country, there are gold and diamond mines. In spite of that, this is a very poor country.
More of the residents here are very poor. Abdullah also told there are some people who are very rich. They have become rich by exporting gold and diamond . Maximum people are very poor here. In spite of having many resources.
There are 22 mines here. He also works in one of the gold and diamond mines. Abdullah is telling, gold and diamond mines are very unsafe in the night times. People come in the night and steal the goad and diamonds. So the owners keep bomb on the mines, so people don't come and steal the gold and diamond.
Robbery was done few days back here in the mines. There was a bomb blast, and many people died in that incident. We came back to the house, I can see a lot of lizards. I cannot show you in the camera, but when I came here, I saw many lizards. We have sat in a local bus, he is taking me somewhere I don't know when he is taking me.
The place is too much noisy. Somebody is playing an Indian song back in this vehicle. Song From 'Kuch Kuch Hota' Hai Movie. I don't know whether you can hear it, but I can hear it. Indian movie and songs are very popular here. The fair here is 4000 Leones, which is 20 INR.
Abdullah is taking me to his one of his relative house, we have come through the bus. I have heard a lot of West African people seeing a lot of Indian movies and song. Many local people here play Indian song in the bus, I am sure they cannot understand the song.
They might understand only few words. Indian songs are being played back to back, I was very surprised. Many people are doing namaste after seeing me. Many items are imported from India, I saw on the road.
There were big banners being put of rice and many other items. It was written Made in India. These are the local houses and this place. Some houses are new and some houses are old. Some are very newly designed houses and some are very old.
I don't know where he has brought me. This is his house, and I can hear a voice of a baby. They are daughters of Abdullah. His wife stays in the other part of the city.
I had also told you before, in West Africa having multiple partner are very common both for men and women. One man will have multiple wives, and one woman can have multiple husbands. I just got to know, without getting married, having kids are very normal and common here in West Africa. There are many people who are not married but will have many kids. It is a very different culture here from the rest of the world.
There is a lot of influence from Europe for the whole of West Africa. The largest ethnic group here in Sierra Leone is Temne and Mende. These are the 2 groups.
Ethnicity has been completely changed. There are many different ethnic people living here. There is Mosque on the one side and just opposite there is a church. We have come to the main road on Sierra Leone, Freetown. We will take a transport, I don't know which he will take. Even the three wheelers are TVS company.
The green one is TVS company, blue one is Bajaj company. It's full in the back, I have to sit in the front. This is Sierra Leone flag and I guess this is America flag or Liberia flag. This is Sierra Leone and that is America flag.
Liberia flag has only one star, which is the neighboring country of Sierra Leone. This is the local and public bus of Freetown. All the bikes here are of TVS company. People are selling popcorn, Juice and drinks.
In 1990 civil war broke out in Sierra Leone. Just to escape from the war, they had come here and settled for temporarily. Then they started to live permanently here. The whole area is filled with people who escaped from the war.
Children are playing football here. He also has a sister and mother who stays near the diamond mine. One of his mothers was on that place and I found one of his mother here also.
They have many relatives mother, father and sister. There are many husbands and wives of one person it's very confusing. In colonial Era, majority people were working as slaves in UK and other countries. They were brought to this country. So that they can lead a free life.
That is why the name of the city is Freetown. Many people here are African slave descendants. We have come back to the house.
I will meet few people here and pack my luggage and go to some other place. An Indian brother had invited me.