EDITOR’S NOTE: In 2006 Tribewanted’s first cross-cultural tribe formed online and then on the remote Fijian Island of Vorovoro. Three years later, 1000 members have visited Vorovoro to take part in the project, stimulating an injection of almost $2m fj into the local economy. In October 2010 we launched our second tribe on John Obey Beach, Sierra Leone. A maximum of 30 tribe members spend a minimum of 1 week at a time living alongside a local team and community immersed in the day to day running and development of the village. Filippo Bozotti, a GlobalGrind blogger, is running the project in Sierra Leone and reports from this beautiful location.
‘Tribewanted’ Sierra Leone, John Obey beach. 2 weeks in. 10 days before the first tribemembers arrive.
It is one thing to talk about it and plan from abroad, quite another is to live every day on a virgin beach, with no amenities and a lot of rain.
The rainy season is dragging on longer this year, and we have rain most of the night and at various parts of the day.
It has been an adventure so far. Full of successes and headaches…
Shortly after Ben and I camped our tents at John Obey beach, the international crew arrived:
We have Alejandro Arango, perma-culturalist from Costa Rica Hooman Fazly, American-Iranian earth-bag builder from Cal-Earth Mark Ax, from Sea Bright Solar in New Jersey, donating his time and solar panels.
Our days on the beach are full.
We wake up shortly after sunrise, breakfast consists of porridge, bananas, coffee or tea boiled over a wood and charcoal fire on the sand.
After breakfast, for about $1 per person, we buy fresh fish straight from the fisherman who have just returned at dawn; we buy fresh bananas and coconuts from the village and many other fruits and vegetables from nearby market for daily use.
[pagebreak] The most impressive thing has been the effort and work ethic of the John Obey community and the local leadership of Hasan Marah, chief of John Obey, age 35. Every day, about 30 of them arrive at 8:30 am, work under the sun or in rain-showers, making sure that the compost toilets, kitchen and beach cleanup is completed before the first tribemembers arrive. There is a kitchen team, a cleanup team, a building team, a perma-culture team and a security team. Our next door neighbor, Mary, married to a fisherman, has a three month old baby and asked for employment, she has been doing all our laundry in the river upstream.
We all lunch together at 2 pm, a big plate of country rice and spicy groundnut stew or kassava leaves sauce, and then back to work until sundown.
At 4 pm, I head up to John Obey village, where most of the local crew lives. While we wait for our solar panels, the only mean of charging cell phones and laptop is through the only village generator; 5,000?leones ($1.25) will buy you a liter of juice, enough to charge for an hour or so. My extra-slow internet key is the only way to stay “connected” to the outside world, usually as I work in my makeshift office under the mango tree, a dozen or so kids stare amazed at my endeavors… it takes a couple of hour to go through 20 daily emails, forget attachments or skype…