The neighborhood where our house is located here in Sierra Leone is called Goderich. It’s in the outskirts of the capital Freetown, along the coastline a couple of kilometers to the north. From here, to get to the busy area of Lumley (with all it’s markets, people, life and colour) takes about 10 minutes, and from there to the city centre another 30 minutes on a direct poda-poda.
Goderich is a beautiful neighbourhood. It lies in the outskirts of the city, so it’s cleaner and more quiet, and overall a more relaxing place to be compared to the city – just like home really should be.
Our living room in the house
The house is located up on a hill, inside a compound and surrounded by all of our incredibly sweet and friendly neighbors. Every morning walking down the hill, we are greeted by “Good morning!” and “Aw di bodi?”, and coming home in the afternoon we are asked about our day and wished a good evening. The children shout our names, both our original and our African ones. For me, my name is Jebbeh, which is a traditional Mende name given to me by a woman at my office.
Some of the neighbour kids
When coming home from the office (and walking up the, although short, very steep hill) we are usually very tired, both from the heat and long working hours. Weekday evenings are thus usually spent relaxing at home. Hanging out on our terrace (overlooking the beautiful ocean), drinking an overload of tea and playing UNO are common activities. Another frequent activity is playing with our sweet house pets; Inge the dog (or Puppy, Puppet, Ingeborg, Puppypuppypuppy) and Nendengo (also known as Poss!) the cat. “A dear child has many names”, as we say in Sweden. Both of them were given to us by friends, and they are the sweetest, most lovable animals I’ve ever met.
Inge and Nendengo
In the evenings after sunset we eat Saffia’s (our housekeeper) great food – mostly African dishes such as cassava leaf and groundnut soup, but also the occasional spaghetti with tomato sauce. Always delicious, nonetheless. This is usually accompanied by more tea (yes, I admit, I drink too much tea…), a bit more socializing and maybe some Facebook-time to catch up with everything that’s going on at home.
All in all, living in the intern house in Goderich is very pleasant in every way. It’s comfortable, the house is great and the location is perfect. Right down the street you can find shops selling everything you might need (even late in the evening – you never know about your next Coca-Cola emergency!), and for the weekend trips we are only a small distance from some of the best beaches in the country (Sussex, Lakka, and not to mention – River Number 2!). I have (at time of writing) been here for almost two months now, and I’m finding out new things I like about our home every day. If you are considering coming here as well, I can assure you that you will find it just as enjoyable as I do.
Maja Malmcrona Wrangstadh