Sierra Leone 2018

Our second trip to Sierra Leone took us first to Kamakwie in the north where we worked intensely for our project Mahmoo, helping the Sella Vocational Centre. I was so occupied with this project that I rarely found the time and tranquility to open my sketchbook.

From Kamakwie we travelled to Serabu in the south, a long and tiring trip with stop over in Makeni. Next time I want to stay longer in Makeni! In Serabu we had work to do for the German Doctors, cooperating with the Serabu Community Hospital. My job was to make sketches for the annual Christmas Newsletter to donators and Lars produced a film about the resident doctors there. From there we travelled to Bo City, meeting our friend Mohamed and then back to the Peninsula to spend the last days relaxing in the wonderful Tokeh Beach Resort.


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Many pregnant women come to the Serabu Hospital for ultrasound scans and mecial prevention.

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The Serabu Community Hospital, supported by the German Doctors.

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The childrens ward of the Serabu Community Hospital.

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Sierra Leoneans love music. Loud music. Life only seems to be rolling with a steady beat in the background. This is the bar of our Guest House in Serabu. Alpha took great pain each evening to bring out stereo and speakers and create a playlist on his computer to bathe his guests in an neverending steady beat.

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A fellow traveller on our way to Bo City, travelling in the car of the Serabu Hospital. Even if this is a relatively luxurious way to travel, you feel each and every pothole of the red dirt road and have to sort your bones after the 2 hour trip. I finished the sketch in the shade of the court trees of our Bo hotel.

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Travelling back to the Peninsular with a Government Bus, but seated in the middle aisle on wooden stools. A gray and rainy day, such a contrast to the days before with intense light and hard shadows. I tried to sketch the landscape outside, consisting mainly of many, many palmtrees...

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Tokeh Beach Resort. I love this view from the sea, returning from a bath in the warm Atlantic. So one day, we put a chair on the sea shore and I made this sketch.

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We lived in this hut on the left under shady trees. The waves of the Atlantic are the most charming lullaby ever, we slept like babies.

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One day, the fisher decided to start fishing right in front of my beach chair. I was to lazy to change the position so I simply sketched what I say. You will not understand that there is a row of men pulling in the rope. Far down the beach to the right a second group is working, doing the same with the other end of the rope. In the middle of the rope, far out at sea, a net captures fish.

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A thunderstorm came down one afternoon and we enjoyed the show from the small porch of our hut.

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View from our hut...

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We enjoyed the good food and even the chance of a glas of wine at the Tokeh Beach Resort.

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Another view down the impeccable beach with the Peninsula Mointains in the back.

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This is the main house of the Tokeh Beach Resort.

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My favorite drink - Cider from South Africa, served very cold!

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Only a short stroll away is the town of Tokeh. Mainly fisher live here, Shebros. And a walk through town brings us back quickly to the Sierra Leone reality: this is a terribly poor country. And the fisher towns along the beach seem to me to be even poorer than those within the country. But poverty does not touch the self esteem of the Sierra Leoneans. They are a very friendly and proud people, full of dreams and hopes. This is the sketch of one of the small shops on the main street.

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One morning Mamanie came to work with a bright yellow dress and I was tempted to sketch her.

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Looking towards Banana Island.

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Sketching in Serabu

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Sketching at Tokeh Sands