First of all "okadas". These are small motor bikes that are used for taxis. They are the fastest transportation to get around town and they are the most dangerous. In Bo, for every car or truck there are 10-20 okadas on the road. This past month they began enforcing the helmet laws in the country. Okada drivers must wear a helmet and now they must provide one for their passenger as well. If they are caught without a helmet or without one for their passenger, they are given a heavy fine and their motorbike is impounded until they have paid the fine. They also have rules about having too many passengers.
Here is an okada diligently doing his best to meet the requirements of the law. Notice how the passenger does have his helmet, but had trouble figuring out how to make it work with the load on his head.
Here is another passenger. Women do not like to wear the helmets because they mess up their hairdos. And some of the men just won't wear them. Another valid question is "What qualifies as a helmet? It is very common to see football helmets, baseball batters helmets, construction hard hats, as well as bicycle helmets etc.
Then there is the occasional interesting load. You have to look closely at this picture to see what is going on. The passenger is holder two pieces of "rebar" behind his back. It is trailing behind the okada and swinging back and forth across the road. We watched some people walking along the side of the road who had to jump over it to keep from getting hit. This is about 1/2 inch rebar which is steel used to reinforce concrete structures. Very heavy and dangerous. Another okada almost ran over the rebar which could have created an interesting accident. We hope he got to his destination safely.
The Roads of Kenema
These are the famous beautiful paved roads of Kenema. It is the middle of the "rainy" season so most days have some rain and some days have a lot of rain. The road you are seeing in these pictures is the main road in the city of Kenema. It was totally paved at one time. Notice the large piles of rocks dumped in the middle of the road. These piles of rocks are there to be broken up and used to fill the potholes. They have been there for about a month. They must be waiting for the rains to stop. In the mean time cars and trucks go very slowly as they try to maneuver around the rock piles and the potholes that can be very deep. It takes about 30 minutes to go 5 miles through town.
The All Africa Day Of Service
This was an event the church held throughout Africa. Here in Bo, we worked with two branches that cleaned up along the main highway going through town. By cleaning up, we mainly mean wacking down the jungle in the ditches so the rain water can run well.
Here, Elder and Sister Sherwood are with President Sheriff, the branch president who orchestrated this project.
Here you get an idea of how high the vegetation can grow in these road
Here are two companions enjoying the work and play together. Two hard working Elders. Elder Kay and Elder Ayabowei.
Here we can see about half the workers along the highway.
Notice the women on the left, working alongside the men. Even doing hard, dirty work outdoors, they still wear dresses.