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  Thursday, June 2nd
Joyce Reese McCollum Holds Shackles on Wall of Freedom's Gate, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Joyce Reese McCollum Holds Shackles on Wall of Freedom's Gate, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Notes From Joyce:
Day 5
My last day in Sierra Leone and so much left undone. I had not been to the Freedom Gate nor done any gift shopping yet. I was committed to a trip with the filming crew to 2 River Beach and had to be at the heliport hours before departure time of 10:30 that night. In a whirl of rush I made the travel office, the market and King Jimmy’s wharf and the Freedom Gate before setting off for 2 River Beach. The Freedom Gate was the passage up from the wharf and was more than symbolic. Arriving freedmen and those taken off slave ships were truly freed once they were on Sierra Leone’s shore.

After a wild ride thru the countryside up and down the hills we arrived at 2 River Beach. It is spectacular in its beauty and solitude. There is a famous waterfall nearby. It is a paradise. And it comes with huge lobster, crab or barracuda meals served with excellent rice and the ubiquitous warm beer. The seafood is caught and grilled for you on the beach. It was a great way to spend my last day.

That evening was one of more rush, packing, saying good byes and exchanging addresses and numbers. We had a wonderful group accompany us to the heliport. There were Christiana John and Henry Frazer from the Ministry of Tourism, members of "Priscilla’s Posse," as we had come to be known, and friends we had made along the way. Our guides, the tailor, a vendor and a policeman were all at the waiting area with the blind musician seated in the middle playing like a West African Lionel Hampton. I chose to parody the boldest of the beggars and said, “You give me money, I go now.” This bought a big laugh from the crowd and a few coins too. And so my farewell from Salone was like my welcome: full of love and hugs and laughter.






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