Tuesday, July 20, 2010

These Made Me Happy

[L to R: Olivia from Amazing Grace, Naomi, Kumba, Patricia, Ma Ruth, Mercy and Jogma]

I asked Auntie Debbie if she could take some photos of my girls at Frances Gaskins. Not only did she send me photos of the girls, but she sent me photos of the girls at Amazing Grace...working on jewelry! The photos made me very happy...and made me realize how much I miss those girls! I miss Naomi's huge smile, Patricia's between-her-teeth laugh, Mercy's unsuspecting smirk, the spark in Jogma's eyes, Kumba's hand in mine and Ma Ruth playing with my hair.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On Being Home

Two weeks ago today, I was leaving Liberia unexpectedly. It's hard to believe that I've been home for two weeks....it feels like I've been home for a month! There has been alot of adjustments, especially since I am one-legged and on crutches. It's been rough, I'm not going to lie. But, I have had alot of interesting observations since I've been home. Here are a few:

- I have desperately been missing the ocean. The sound and breeze, but more importantly, the ability to walk to the beach at the end of the day and de-stress.
- I have been incredibly claustrophobic since I've been home. I live in the woods. I go outside and look up and can see a sliver of sky. It drives me bonkers! I miss seeing the horizon, the sunset or the approaching thunderstorm.
- There sure are alot of white people!
- The biggest difference is the fact that everyone lives in their own little secluded bubble. You don't talk with your neighbors. You don't say hello when you walk by someone. You for sure aren't yelling out your window at the guy who tried to form a second lane. Everyone goes about their business and doesn't have the time, nor the interest, in talking to the people around them. Nobody lives their life on the side of the road for the rest of the world to see...you live life inside your house, with all of your doors and windows closed, for no one to see.
- I feel like I live in an aquarium, or like I'm just watching a movie or something. You're always closed up inside of your bubble--usually your air-conditioned house or car.
- I miss my 24/7 open windows and my front porch! I feel like I need to breathe in huge amounts of outside air...no more of this fake, inside, air-conditioned stuff! Problem is...it's too hot here, and there's no ocean breeze, to make sitting outside bearable in the heat of the day.
- Food. Eat. More Food. Snack. Watch Food Network. See commercials of fast food. There is food everywhere! All people do is eat, or think about what they will eat next. It's no wonder America is fat. [I have enjoyed my fair share of good food...but not nearly as much as I was wishing for when I was still in Liberia, haha.]
- Speaking of food--can I just say again how much I LOVE Chick-Fil-A! It's the only fast food I will eat. I still haven't had McDonald's, which kind of surprises me. Most foods seem too salty...so I just feel like a double cheeseburger would taste like a salt block. I have to work my way up to the Micky D's. But, I am LOVING the non-stop produce out of the garden--tomatoes, cucumbers, egg plant, watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, okra, green beans--it's the BEST food I've had in a LONG time!
- Ok, enough about the food. Let's talk hot showers. Ah! They are wonderful, but I admit, I really miss my outdoor shower!

I couldn't wait to come home to 'just be normal,' but the whole broken foot thing makes that impossible. I can't do most things on my own. It has been challenging and frustrating. I remember in Liberia, just wanting to lay on a comfy couch and watch a movie. Let me just tell you...I'm sick of the couch, sick of movies, sick of TV, sick of the internet. I want to be outside (in that heat?!), enjoying some body of water or horizon or breeze or something.

It has been great being with my family, friends and church! I love them to death! I have missed them all so much! But, I miss my Liberia family, my community, the kids and directors. It's pretty quiet around here. No Momo around here, haha.

I guess those are just some random thoughts on being home. You can continue to pray for my time at home. I have one more week before I head back to the doctor for my foot. I'm really praying that I will get the go-ahead to be crutch free next Friday, but we'll have to wait and see. If I get to ditch the crutches, then I can tell you now that I'm heading for the beaches of Florida!!! And if not, then I'm busting out my new sewing machine! Just pray that I would feel 'normal' soon and that I could fully enjoy being home! Also, that God would use this time to renew, refresh, restore, give new passion and direction, and that He would continue to guide and direct me. Thank you for your prayers!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Update: For those of you who don't know, I left Liberia on Thursday to head home. I was sick with malaria, but even worse, I injured my foot. The doctor in Liberia said it was badly sprained and casted it, but I made the decision to come home. Thank goodness I did, because it turns out that my foot is broken! I am on crutches and in an air-cast for the next 3 weeks, and then I go back to the doctor to check on the bone-healing progress. I was originally scheduled to stay in Liberia through the end of August, but sometimes things don't go according to our plans. It is good to be home, and would have been impossible to properly heal in Liberia (especially since the doctor couldn't detect the break). I will be home for the next few months, and would love to see you, have lunch, hang out, share with you and your friends....I'm game! Thank you all for your continued prayers and support, and I will keep you posted on the foot!

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!
I have worn my red, white and blue.
I enjoyed the fireworks.
I sang patriotic songs.
I spent the weekend with family and friends.
I ate bbq ribs, baked beans, watermelon, homemade peach ice cream...and more!
I wasn't planning on celebrating the 4th this year, but my unexpected return home enabled me to do all of these things!
It was great!

Thank you to all of the men and women who have fought for our freedom!
I hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Danny Feeney Grand Opening!!

The homemade invitations that were hanging on trees...awesome!
It was a stormy morning in Cottontree.
The community gathered to welcome the children.
The dining hall was converted for the program.
Bunkbeds, linens, mosquito nets and teddy bears waited for the children.
The girls approve!
Presenting Salome with the dedication plaque.
Hon. Minister Geebro, as well other VIPs got the grand tour.
The group shot with all of the kiddos!

More photos and videos to come!
In the meantime, here is an article that our good friend wrote about the grand opening.