[June 20th, 2011, 11:45am]
At Sinkor, we got in last night around 8pm. The drive here was a lot of fun!! 3 people in the back seat, the driver, and then two people in the passenger seat. Stephen, Diane, and I were in the back. Diane is not doing so well since her carry-on bag with her medications got taken away in Atlanta and are now lost. It was not too hot last night, muggy yes, but I liked it. This picture is of us driving and of our driver. I don’t remember his name, but I remember he was hired to drive us. That first drive on the way to the school was such a treat 🙂 Windows down, horns honking EVERYWHERE, people driving in a chaotic mess (to me, they know what they’re doing), and loud music lingering in the car off the streets. Oh yea, and I loved the fan chillin off the rear view mirror. This other picture was waiting outside of the airport for everyone to be ready to go!
Diane is having a hard time this morning. She isn’t able to take missing meds, I think Ruth and Doug are going to go get her some at the pharmacies around here. She isn’t able to hold water down either, so even though she is just laying in bed cause she is sick, she is still dehydrated. Hopefully she will start perking up soon. (After lunch she actually perked up and got out of bed and dressed. It was refreshing to see her doing better). Doug and Ruth also founds some of her meds that she will need since the carry-ons would not be in til Wednesday.
Last night we have fun rigging up our mosquito nets. All the people were very welcoming, there was great food waiting for us that was cooked by Martha, and I took my first cold water bucket shower… which I LOVED! Here are some pictures of our rooms, mosquito nets and all!!
This is the women’s room. The first picture is Diane’s bed (she is in it) with my bed. The second picture is of Ruth and Martha’s bed. 🙂 Martha is sitting on her bed and Ruth is by the empty bed where we store our suitcases. I am standing in the doorway to take these two pictures.
This first picture is the women’s bathroom. No running water usually, so we had 2 big bins of water, a little black bucket to bath with then a smaller one to scoop with. The second pic is out of the women’s bedroom looking at the back of the school and the third pic is in the men’s bedroom looking out at the ocean 🙂
Alright, well let me explain what I saw last night from when we landed! We went through customs rather uneventfully. When we got out of the building and there were Liberians lined up all along the road. Some were calling out to me since there aren’t many white people around. I think Stephen was the only other person standing outside at this point. I am following Isaac though, so I do my best to stay focused. Isaac is taking all our luggage out to some cars, who are apparently with people I should trust. This was the hardest part of the entire trip (aside from the leaving Liberia part). I was supposed to follow this guy out to meet more people whom I should just trust. I don’t know their faces, names, or who they really are. How am I suppose to know they are trustworthy!? Doug is not outside with me at this point, he is inside dealing with the missing luggage factor. Well, I soon got over my fears, because there is really no choice. Soon Ruth joined me, and she knew a lot of the guys and that helped ease me into things. 3 cars were filled with our luggage and then us. Ruth, Zak, and Martha’s car leaves first; then it is mine with Stephen and Diane, the last car to leave has Jay and Doug.
We made our drive back to the school, and I believe that took about an hour. To be honest, it was fun!! No seatbelts, pedestrians everywhere, cars driving with no lights at dusk/dark, and people are all over the road… middle lines mean almost nothing! From the moment I set food into Liberia, I have loved it!! We got to the school and the boys brought up all our luggage. We then had dinner of rice with spices, chicken and fish with greens, and plantains… it was delicious! After dinner Doug discussed logistics and then went to ready our rooms. We had electricity, but it was very dark still in the women’s room. It was really hard to see anything, but we got our nets up, some of us showered, we talked, and went to bed. It was raining hard I suppose. I loved hearing the sound of the ocean. Diane was really sick, she woke up around 4 or something. Ruth and Martha were hovering over her bed when I woke up, so I don’t know what happened. I had to pee though cause of all the water we have to drink! I was also very thirsty.
I guess it was hot last night, I used my sheet but didn’t cover my feet til 4 or so. That’s when it got chillier.
I slept through everything as I usually do. Apparently, there was a large storm HAHAHAHAHAHA. Not large enough if I slept through it. Today we had breakfast of mush and rolls. It was tasty. We met the kids, walked through the school and classrooms, greeted them with hugs sometimes but mainly they just stare. They are all so adorable!! We went to a meeting at 1030, were introduced and met the administration and teachers. The men kept teaching me the Liberian handshake. LOVE IT!
The people are so nice and wonderful. The only thing I do not like is the fact I can’t understand what they say when they talk, mainly the kids though. The adults are easier to understand. I don’t even mind the heat yet, but it has been on the chilly side. A little stomach flutter last night, but nothing serious. Lots of bottled water, took some pepto this morning, and have been eating small amounts to not shock myself! Getting dressed was fun this morning, I look ridiculous. Time to go out and experience more though!!!
So, a lot has happened between the last time I wrote and now. I am fully aware only 12 hours have passed (not even that).
After lunch I was downstairs a lot with the kids. Lunch was fries and fruit! YUM! I saw down with a bunch of the kids, they asked questions, played with my earrings, touched my hair and skin. Fun!! I then wondered around aimlessly for a couple of hours. At one point, I had a bunch of kids around me asking tons of questions about America and if I have seen certain animals or what I generally eat in America. They were shocked when they heard America has four seasons. They only have two, dry season and rainy season. 🙂 I like it that way better though. No false summers like Washington blesses us with.
The big thing that happened was with James Brown’s son, Austin. Martha and I had been sitting with him (James), going over children stuff at the school. He mentioned he got a call that his son was not well, so he went to and picked him up. Soon after, both of them were up on our floor talking with us. Austin, his son, was very feverish. He sat on the coffee table with Austin next to him. I sat down next to Austin and started to rub his back. He was very lethargic, it was noticeable to even me that he was not himself. He seemed like a playful, active, and happy little boy. I sat with him and rubbed his back for at least 2 hours, he was up in my lap for a lot of that too. James and I just talked for the time being. He and I discussed differences between America and Liberia culture. Great things to do when you’re here. Sit and have a conversation with the staff, because you are going to learn a lot that way. I felt for a little bit and then came back. Austin’s fever had reached a new level. We started putting cold compresses on his head, back and arms. We were told it was cooler downstairs, so we started to take Austin there. James was holding him by now. As James got up, Austin straightened out rigidly and started seizing. It’s now confirmed, this kid has malaria. After the seizure was over, Ruth checked heart rate and breathing, he was still alive! WOOT! We went down to Doug, got a driver, and then Dr. Golden showed up at 6:15 though he said he would be there at 5. It’s ok though at least he showed up. (((Dr. Golden is a man from the Gig Harbor area who is on a 4 month voluntary mission trip with his entire family. It was really cool to meet and get to work with him the time I was there. ))We took Austin to the nurses office to test him for malaria, it was positive. But Austin could not be treated because he now has a complicated case of malaria. It was decided he needed to go to the hospital. They all left (Goldens and James)and it is now 10:45 and at 10:30 James came back to tell us Austin has to stay overnight and get blood transfusions.. James is confused, he says, “We all have our Malaria. But we still work, play with our kids, and live.”
However, Ruth and I will be at JFK this week, maybe even tomorrow to go see Austin. Dr. Golden told me to tell him the days I would like to shadow him as well. EXCITING!!! This pic is of Austin at the end of our trip 🙂 As you can tell, he is better!
Another wonderful bucket bath today, drank lots of water, making sure I don’t get diarrhea, and yes I am a nursing major I will talk about gross stuff. Time for bed, it is 4pm for Tyler and he is at work. Tis hot and muggy, but definitely bearable. Today was not stressful even with what happened with Austin, a three-year old little boy having a seizure. The wind has stopped, so that means it’s time to lay down and sleep. I am excited for what is in store for tomorrow.