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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 05:58 GMT
School swap: Kyle's blog
Kyle Jones, 15. in Sierra Leone
Kyle shares his impressions of Sierra Leone
One of the British children who went to Sierra Leone is 15 year old Kyle Jones, who's visually impaired.

Here, he talks us through his impressions of his stay at Milton Margai School, day by day.

His trip turned out to be life-changing experience.

  • Saturday: arrivals
    My first impressions of Sierra Leone, the ones I managed to get after a whole day's travelling, were brilliant.

    The welcome we got at the school was tremendous - I've never seen anything like it in my life.

    And I've met my friend Ibrahim again who I've been writing to for the last three years. Truly, when I meet him and I speak to him, it's as if we haven't been apart. It seems like nothing has happened since we last saw each other:. we can catch up just like that.

    There's no 'oh what shall I say next.' When we're quiet we're quiet and when we're talking we're talking,

  • Monday: meeting the ministers.
    Today I met the ministers. It was very nerve-wracking as I didn't know what to expect. I had to actually speak about what I got out of the link between our two schools.

    I said how I felt I'd been helped by the link. A lot has come out of it for both me and Ibrahim. We both spoke about how we became friends.

  • Tuesday: Pop-stars Sierra-Leone style

    Today I went to the singing competition that takes place between the local schools.

    I supported Milton Margai school for the blind. They sang Will Young's Evergreen and they should have won.

    The judges didn't beat about the bush. They tore shreds out of them and that's an understatement. You wouldn't get that kind of judging in Britain

    Back home, they sugar the pill and say yeah but no but and take half an hour to say something that should take five minutes.

  • Wednesday: art lessons

    Where's the time going man? It's all going so quickly - I can't believe we've been here since Saturday.

    a teacher guides a Milton Margai pupil round a tactile map of the UK
    Art classes mean making a tactile map like this
    Today I took part in an art class. It was fascinating to see how they went about teaching something that had never been taught before to pupils who had no idea of art whatsoever.

    It's all very well to say art is making things but if you've never done it before, you're going to say making what?

  • Thursday: Big John and Esther - two remarkable people

    Today was quite amazing.

    First we met Big John, who's a blind record producer. I think we've got a lot to learn from people like him. He began with nothing and he's gone on to great things

    I think it shows that if you want something badly enough then you'll get it, whether its tomorrow or next year or the year after.

    I was talking to one girl at the school, Esther, whose house was bombed in the Civil War.

    It really upset me. They killed her father and a lot of her friends.

    The thing that surprised me the most is that she's not angry about it any more.

    I would certainly be angry for years. I would never forgive something like that.

  • Friday: final thoughts

    I came here expecting things that didn't happen.

    Nothing was as I expected - and it's world's apart from what I've experienced before.

    It's important to have these links between black and white nations.

    A lot of people out here take a lot of interest in us: they look at us.

    I scared a two year old off yesterday without meaning to. They'd never seen a white person before - took one look at me and ran away.

    So if you have these links going on between Sierra Leone and Britain, it's a giant step closer to wiping out racial problems in the world.

    Everyone's the same whether they live in a rich country or a poor one. It's not the amount you have, it's the person you are which matters - and every person is the same as everyone else.

  • To find out more about schools twinning, visit the BBC's World Class website

  • BBC Breakfast


    Africa school swap
    27 Feb 06 |  Breakfast



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