Friday, April 18, 2008

T.I.A.--"This is Africa"

This is a popular explanation to many of the situations that happen around here. T.I.A.—This is Africa. To branch off of that, I’ve been making a list called T.I.L.—This is Liberia. So far I’ve got 3 pages of things….and I want to start sharing them with all of you. Please feel free to post your own T.I.A. or T.I.L. experiences. Here’s my first 15.

  1. You sweat all day, every day.
  2. You have a cutlass by your front door, along with a broom and a baseball bat.
  3. Your hallway décor consist of 8 body boards leaning up against the well.
  4. You begin to shiver upon entering any air-conditioned establishment.
  5. A pint of Hagen-Daz ice cream has a $25USD price tag!
  6. If you’re not eating rice or bread- well, then you probably aren’t eating.
  7. You have forgotten what it’s like to shower with hot water, and without wearing flip-flops and bathing suit.
  8. You use a bucket of water to flush the toilet, your sink is propped up with a stick and you spit your toothpaste into the tub; and you don’t use the sink or tub for their intended purposes.
  9. You drive down the road honking your horn—for no reason really, but nobody minds because everyone else is doing the same thing.
  10. There’s no point in using a wallet—you need a small bag to carry around $20USD worth of Liberty.
  11. You greet everyone with “ah-lo” and ask “how you coming on”—even though you already know the answer.
  12. When asked “how you coming on”, you answer with either “aright” or “trying small”—no matter what.
  13. You crave milk, beef and salad (or maybe that’s just me?).
  14. Any round, typically green-ish, fruit-like thing is a “plum”.
  15. You respond to “wha mah”, “chinee mah” and “auntie” and tend to not respond to “fin jew” or the Liberian smooch sound. (translations: white man, Chinese man and fine jewel) are told there will be a 30 minute intermission from the internet while making a blog because they need to refuel the generator!


Mom said...

WOW!! You've been a busy e-mail and multiple blog posts on the same day!! Keep up the good work and keep the communications coming! I love you!

Shaun said...

When I was in Liberia last year, there were several TIA moments. I used to enjoy leaving the house each day just to experience more crazy adventures. A few of them were:

1. Receiving an "African chicken" as a gift. It turned out to be a LIVE "African chicken" that ended up living in our kitchen for 2 days before it was killed and cooked. Oh, it also cock-a-doodle doo'ed in the mornings, faithfully.

2. Seeing a monkey living in a house I went to visit. No one (besides me) found it strange at all to see a monkey relaxing on the sofa, watching TV like the rest of us.

3. Encountering the LNP (Liberian National Police). This was a really long and extremely crazy story, but just imagine riding down Bushrod Island with a police officer hanging onto the hood of the Pathfinder....get the picture?

4. Having everyone asking me "How you slept?". Even at 3 in the afternoon.

5. Riding (stuffed) in the back of a taxi with 4 other people (5 total) of various sizes. Hmm, like being smashed against the door because one of the 4 people was an extra large person with bags of fish. By the time we got from Bushrod Island (Duala) to "in-town" I was so numb and sore that I couldn't move.

T.I.A.!!!! My trip to Liberia was the craziest and funniest experience I have ever had. I can't wait to go back this December. Thanks for this entry because it brought back soooo many memories of T.I.A.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ashley from Aunt Brenda, ditto on what your mom said and we're thinking of you and your good work too!

Brandi said...

Very funny. . and true! While I've only spent a week there (picking up our son), I long to go back and reading every one of your posts, pretty much makes me ache inside! Thank you for your service to Jesus and to the sweet kiddos of Liberia!