When a female friend of mine spoke to me on Skype from budget-deficit Greece the other day stating her hope that the dreaded Ebola disease would phase out by December this year at the latest, it was only then that it dawned on me that we are on the tip of the exit for the year.
What a sad background towards the few months left of the year, she said shaking her head in the screen that she may probably not be able to come to Sierra Leone for her yearly Xmas break.
Well, we are all in this together and we have to be courageous and pray that we will soon put the dreaded disease behind us for Sierra Leone to regain the massive development stride it was on.
For a disease that has hit all sectors – drivers, teachers, left students in a haze and dozens of children orphaned, while frontline operatives like doctors and nurses keep the Florence Nightingale patience; the hopes remain strong that we will win in the end.
She was passionate over those who have died and worry for those they had left behind and wished they would stand firm against the storm.
So many things have been disrupted. Imagine, she remembered how flights used to arrive at Lungi International airport, bringing Sierra Leoneans, many of whom were coming to the country for the first time? She kept reminding me of the past sceneries that nearly brought tears down my chin.
Think of the other Sierra Leonean children born abroad who were coaxed to come to the country of their parents and they would have told their school mates… we are going to Africa. Would all this fun and gaiety not happen this year? Would parents, friends and relatives go to the airport in truck loads to meet their loved ones? What about the countless hugs and friskiness, customs and immigration officials working overtime. Then there’s the throng of Sierra-Americans who would roll their accents with ‘yeah-men’ and ‘hi’ in the Diaspora way of greetings even if you are older than them. All these used to make the capital an interesting sight. Last year, she reminded me, many of these oversea comers shunned from the attraction of being noticed, perhaps because of the way people pestered them for cash. They swapped their way of dressing, the swagger walk, holding huge bottles of water sideways, towels round their necks and growling under their breath…this place is to hot. They will be missed at supermarkets where they would have challenge merchants as to whether they accept master cards and all that.
Some, she told me, would have come searching for brides while some women would go hunting for captive husbands as the guys back there are content to let the women work and fed them.
One new start last year is to come to Sierra Leone to do the wedding because it is relatively cost effective…less spending to put it plainly… containerize all stuffs for the weddings.
Checking their finances, they would find their tickets were bought on credit.
To my Greece friend, I also hope, all will be better off if these scenarios will replace the ugly scenes of quarantining, treatments and deaths caused by this Ebola menace.
Everyone should cheer up, all is not lost. Imagination is like fishing. You throw a line into the water and you don’t know what’s underneath. Your imagination is under there.
By Rod Mac-Johnson
Monday September 15, 2014