Travel Report November 2011

Travel Report from our Journey in November 2011

We sit in the boarding lounge of Lungi Airport in Freetown, unsure whether to laugh or cry. This mission to Sierra Leone was indeed very successful. Our partner cooperation, the EAFA (Verein Sierra Leone Baden-Württemberg) represented through Mr. Yembeh Mansaray, and we ourselves, Annelie Bolda and Ruth Rohde from HOG, are very satisfied with the development of the Project. New means were discovered in order to “plant” the development of classic homeopathy in Sierra Leone. At the beginning of the second training week a doctor from Makeni arrived who happened to be part of the board of executives for the union of traditional healers and therefore responsible for the education of nurses. Dr. Wilson is fascinated by classic Homeopathy and expressed his willingness to support our cause.

The transport from the airport to our hotel was done with our new service car: a former Fire Engine of the EAFA, which had luckily enough storage space for all our stuff.

Arrival in Makeni on Friday November 28th. We take to our hotel room which, unfortunately, is smaller and more crammed than the last one in April. But what it lacked in space, it made more than up for it in price. The costs for rooms (In Freetown at least) have tripled and are expected to rise further by January 2012. How high it is going to be no one dares to predict. This trend is explained by the increase in demand from international company representatives, who look for investment opportunities in Sierra Leone.

On Saturday November 29th, we were invited by Mr. Mansaray to the wedding of his cousin. We had the opportunity to witness the 3 hour long ritual in the Church and participate in the following festivities with around 400 other people. The large presence of so many friends and family together with the tightly organised schedule deeply impressed us.

The next day we had a little warm-up treatment in the morning, while in the afternoon we had a meeting with students planned. The point was to discuss some rules in order for the lectures to be a success (punctuality, mobiles off, participation, and homework/preparations on the side of the student). Over half of the expected participants actually showed up, although at the focus of attention was a female student’s 6 month old baby-boy named Samuel, after Samuel Hahnemann. The students reported about their successful appliance of our remedies, which we had distributed among them last April.

At the beginning of the tutorial we repeated the basics of classic homeopathy, in which all students were able to participate. Our learning schedule for the next 10 tutorial days was tightly packed. We brought the Kent-Repertoire with us, which we introduced the same day. This was a completely new tool for our students, which will require lots of practice.

On the second tutorial day we received a new patient. During the life-anamnesis and the subsequent discussion we realised that we needed to approach the topic of chronic treatment within our lessons as well.

Teaching classes in our clinic were again conducted in the village of Worreh Yeamah. We were able to continue our proven methods of homeopathic treatment with an average of about 2-3 Students each time. This time, the students were involved even further due to, for example, practical appliances for examination.

We saw some of our patients from April again and were thus able to document how our homeopathic treatment had worked. Amongst others, we witnessed the extraordinary recuperation of a 28 year old woman who, despite the intake of medicine, was suffering from daily epileptic shocks. Through continuous appliance of academic medicine in combination with a one-time dose of homeopathic remedy, she managed to get rid of her condition, was able to leave her home and find a job. There were many more “amazing” examples and in some cases the effect was enduring.

Sometimes, we were also confronted with the sad fates of some of the people we met. One of the students had a miscarriage, while another one suffered from the sudden loss of her son. These misfortunes are much more prevalent in Sierra Leone than back home in Germany, or Europe. But it is always fascinating to see how much strength and will to live the people here demonstrate against all odds.

Due to the difficult circumstances in Sierra Leone it wasn’t always easy for our students to be present during tutorials. However, we saw it as a remarkable sign of trust and good will that so many people showed up on Monday the 7th of November, which is an official holiday.

For the next training period in February/March 2012 we have left the students with 6 pages of homework to do, which can be done by themselves or in groups. We are anxious to hear the results… Shortly before the end we organised a test. It was pretty though, but our students managed to answer all questions and with a 50% correct average. Some scored very high, which is why we are overall very satisfied with the result.

On our last day, we had the opportunity to get to know one of the beautiful beaches of Sierra Leone. Watching the wonderful sunset above the sea did indeed make up for most of the exertions.

We would like to extend our gratitude to our cooperation partner EAFA for the support and the perfect organisation. We would also like to especially thank Mr. Konteh for making everything possible, and Mr. Mansaray who worked so tireless in order make our stay in Sierra Leone a success, and also Mr. John who managed to drive us through all obstacles save and sound.

This enlightening stay showed us the enormous developing potential from which everyone involved can profit. We look forward to the next journey to Sierra Leone!

Ruth Rohde

Annelie Bolda 

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