Monday, November 22, 2010

Pre-Culture shock = Watch "Blood Diamond"

I am getting more and more excited about going to Sierra Leone so naturally I am talking to my friends about it. Upon hearing about my destination one of them made a face and asked if I had seen the movie "Blood Diamond"(watch trailer here). I have not, simply because I am not a Leo fan. "Well, you should!" he said and so I did.

Sierra Leone is a country where over 10,000 child soldiers were "recruited" by armed gangs. The search for diamonds is the main theme there, still the movie gives you a quite realistic picture of the horror these kids had to go through. There is peace now in Sierra Leone, however many of those kids lost their homes, families and ALL of them experienced hell and that's something that will not go away overnight...

I will be honest with you, after watching that movie I was seriously contemplating recalling my application and staying away from that part of the world. But thank God it only lasted about 10 minutes and after that I got even more determined to go there and make a difference.

What a coincidence, one of my best friends here in Stavanger is a guy from Sierra Leone. :) We sat down and he gave me a brief summary of the situation there. He is writing his university thesis on Reintegration of Child Soldiers to Society. I hope we can have lots of meetings in the next 25 days while I am still here. I want to go there prepared, well, as much as I can anyway.

Our hospital ship has been to Freetown, the capital of SL several times. Here are some shots from the previous visit in 2004. These photos were taken by Mercy Ships so they are protected by copyrights. I use them with permission.

 (victim of the civil war)

(the kids who are waiting...)

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