Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Strange World

I landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta yesterday afternoon at 1:30. As the plane touched down, I began to praise God for the last 3 months--for His provision and protection, for all of the things He taught me, for all of the people who I've shared life with these last 3 months. I also prayed for Liberia--for the children I left behind, for the government, for the orphanages that I've spent time at, for the director's who are caring for the children. As the plane pulled up to the gate, I had butterflies in my stomach. I was ready to be home, but I've really been worried about how I would react to all things 'America'. After making it through immigration and customs, and riding the train to baggage claim, I started my trip up the long escalator...I knew my family would be at the top, and after 22 hours of travel I started climbing the steps up the escalator...I couldn't wait any longer. I saw my family, and my sister and dad stepped through the crowd....and then it was long hugs all around...and the tears came. These last 3 months have been wonderful and challenging and wonderfully challenging, but I am finally home!

There are so many strange and foreign things about home. There's the obvious, like white people everywhere, elecrticity, running water and air-conditioning. I feel like I'm breathing clean, fake air. When I woke up this morning in my bed, I laid there for awhile, just looking around my room. It was quiet--no chickens, no car horns, no children laughing or crying, no hammering. I put my bare feet down onto plush carpet, I flipped on the light switch, I flushed the toilet with the push of a button, I opend the fridge and grabbed the milk(!), I sat down in front of the tv, I turned on my computer and checked my email. The trees here are tall. I can't see the horizion. The road is smooth and the car ride was quiet. I'm watching President Bush on tv, talking about ARV's and malaria and food prices (which a few months ago, I would have flipped channels already). I notice the sound of the washing machine, and the hum of the air-conditioning is noticable too.

Everything is different. I woke up in a diferent world today.

I'm going to take it easy today, but I hope to have a bunch of pictures and posts ready soon. I also fixed the pics of Bomi Lake and The Pink Latrine.

1 comment:

Janice Flahiff said...

Thank you for your blog, Ashley. I hope all is well with you. I was "up country" in a village near Ganta in Nimba County as a Peace Corps Volunteer (1980-81).
Am about 80% cleared to take 3 weeks vacation next May to join with a group of former Peace Corps Volunteers...to return to Liberia for service projects, a conference, and similar things. I have a sponsor child (of 4 years) in Monrovia, she's about 17 and in the 7th grade. For a service project, thinking of something library related (since I am a medical librarian at a medical college). Anyways, I see your faith is deepening through your experience. It wasn't until a few years after I returned from Liberia I saw how God was visiting me daily through LIberians...mostly just through the ordinary which was..quite extraordinary.
Peace, and God Bless!!

Janice Flahiff (jmflahiff@yahoo.com)
I am on Facebook
also, a brief (professional) profile of me at the
staff pages (kinda hidden) at www.utoledo.edu/library ....