[July 4th, 2011; 12:30am = Liberian Time]
Traveling again. Back to Washington state 🙁 Not surprisingly, I am not doing too well.I was able to not cry around any of the Liberians, but once sitting in the waiting area at the airport, after going through customs, I just silently broke down. I think it was silent anyway. I was able to get a window seat for the trip to Accra, Ghana though. I sobbed as I watched Liberia leave; I felt like I was leaving my home. My one expectation of this trip was reached, I fell in love with Liberia. I can not even explain how in love with it I am, words don’t work. Mary Ann was there when I left, broke my heart because I got rushed into a car before I could give her a final goodbye 🙁 I was able to have a quiet moment with her about half an hour earlier. I took her off to the beach and let her know I would be back.
Gertrude, Isaac, Principal Hammond, Sackie, and T.sneh all took us to the airport. Sackie wants me to email him once I am better (my knee popped out). What was funny, is on the way to the airport after T.sneh’s car needed gas, we got back onto the road and about three minutes after I had deja vu! Seemed like a huge one! It was crazy. The moment that was deja vu was me telling T.sneh, “Thank you, T.sneh.”… the landscape, the name, what I said, who was in the back of the car (Martha, Ruth, and Diane), the heat, what we were wearing…. everything was like I have experienced it 5 years ago! It was crazy! I had to tell Ruth and them, then had to explain to T.sneh what deja vu was. It was crazy,crazy crazy… woah.
Yesterday was a great day! I helped the guys shovel for the “barricade” at the gate. Hours of fun!!! Harris never showed up because his cousin broke her leg on one of the taxi-cycles 🙁 It was ok though, that night I spent time with him. I poppped my knee out while shoveling in a hard, rocky, trash filled incline area. It scared the crap out of the guys I think. They really did not know what happened since I yelled out of pain when it happened. Sackie came and helped me up. Man, that hurt for the rest of the day. I think the best part is the guys really did not know what to do with me yelling when that knee popped out and back in. I shoveled more after this happened though; Sackie just moved me to the soft sand portion. I must have looked pathetic after 6 wheel barrows full because Morris forced me to give him the shovel. And the whole neighborhood behind the school all heard that the white girl was working. One of the Liberians stood up for me when T.sneh was doubting that I worked. He told him I worked like a true African woman. My parents would never believe it. I did “yard” work in really high humidity in hot weather and I LOVED every bit of it! Helps that we all took turns. There had to be 8 of us, 2 shovels, and 1 wheel barrow. Hopefully they can do good up keep in it so the water does not run where they do not want it to.
It’s nearly 2am Liberian time, and well, I’m doing my best to stay up til 9 or so WA time before I go to sleep. I also do not see myself sleeping much on this trip. I have an aisle seat, in the middle. It’s a little noisy and cramped. I have music playing, may put ear plugs in later and take sleeping pills.
This concludes my journal from my trip. I loved every bit of it. Even my physical ailments did not ruin my trip. I can’t wait to go back to Liberia. My heart is already longing to go back, to hold kids, and to chat with the people; visit the students houses, walking around Sinkor; hear stories from Sackie; run away from huge spiders at 15 Gate latrine just to have Sackie laugh cause they were dead (cause all the live ones ran into the toilet bowl!!!); holding my pee for hours just cause I did not want to use those same latrines; peeing behind the latrine at Civil Compound because inside was sketchy (and it was locked); using the worst toilet possible at Mamba point; seeing a thief run away while on a walk with Harris; catching crabs with Mary Ann and her brother Andrew; reading the neighborhood stories at night and then walking with Harris to carry them home; the misunderstandings due to accent and understanding them better at the end of the two weeks; touching an infant’s 6th digit; falling in love with being in Liberian culture; Sackie’s love, care, and compassion; my body guards, whether it was the students looking out for me or the actual guards; putting baby powder on the kids and them loving it; watching kids play; having them hug me all over and always touching me; how people would stare at me, but as soon as I would smile and wave so did they; living with 7 other people I did not really know; playing cards with the guys; Zac’s chuckle; sleeping under a mosquito net; taking bucket showers with cold water; Martha and her food; singing with Harris; receiving an African name; the glorious thunderstorms; the humidity; dancing around with the kids; playing games with them; the flowing rain; crossing the bridge to Civil Compound; the sound of the ocean; nursing kid’s wounds; and figuring out how to do things differently next year… or what I would do the same…
Harris’ final song to us… and his typical greeting to me each day!!!
I have these so everyone can see them on my Facebook, so if you can’t see them because you aren’t my friend please leave a comment that way I can fix it if you want to view them 🙂
This is not a comprehensive list. But I loved Liberia and all I experienced!! I may be made for that place.
And now that I am done putting my Liberian journal into here I can start talking about my daily life and how I have been since!!! WOOT! Hahaha, boring, I know 🙂 I will start this some other day (maybe tomorrow) 🙂 Hope you liked reading, hope it was good… now enjoy! Here was the view when we came home to Seattle .
And here are the men in the African wear at the airport before we saw our families.
(Jay, Stephen, Zac, and Doug)
Enjoy your day, I will be enjoying mine. Remember, it is easy to smile, so just keep smiling no matter how you feel… somebody has always got it worse than you.