|A greeting on a typical 'work' day...can't complain!|
The first few weeks, I really struggled with being back. It was great to see the kids and I couldn't believe how much everybody had grown, but I was still having a hard time. Before I came back to Liberia, I knew things were going to be different--not in a good way or bad way, just different. I did not know what different would even look like, so I returned cautiously. It was really a mental thing--knowing things would and should be different, and trying so hard to not fall back into old routines and habits.
This past week, I really felt like I was beginning to settle in and really felt like I had successfully created a new routine. I'm excited! My routine contains some of the same things that I've always done here--early morning quiet times, weekends in my hammock on the porch, and going to the beach to think and enjoy the sunset. But my routine has also changed--near nightly bike rides, watering my garden in the morning and gardening with Momo after dinner--and I feel like by doing more 'normal' things, I feel more normal.
I am leaving early in the morning to head to Sinoe County. It is quite the adventure, and we are hoping for good road conditions! When we went last May, it took more than 11 hours, but the year before it only took 6.5 hours. We are praying that since we are going so early in dry season that the roads will be in great shape. You can be praying for us--for travel mercies, for good driving conditions (and Joseph, who will be driving us), and that we will be an encouragement to the people we will meet. Life in Sinoe is so far removed from any world that you're used to--grass mat houses, out in the middle of nowhere, life is simple and slow, hard working people living off the land, sharing your room with chickens laying eggs, pigs, pineapple farm, children terrified of white people--so I'm looking forward to getting away from the busyness of life here in Monrovia. But, I will say, it's also alittle scary to think about...the rest of the world could disappear and I'd never know. [*Note: from my house to Sinoe, it's about 170 miles....yea, it took more than 11 hours last time!]
After I get back from Sinoe (hopefully Wednesday), the revolving door of guests to the ORR house begin showing up. Elena (!!!) will arrive on Sunday, so we will have a few days to recoop before she gets here (since she's so wild and crazy and all). Anyway, I just wanted to send out a quick little update. When I get back from Sinoe, I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories and photos to share, and I also want to share with you some photos of things that fill my days here in Liberia!
Love from Liberia,