My trip to Liberia was not without adventures, but I am thankful that they were all good adventures. So here is a little of some of the adventures and experiences I had during the trip.
Life there is really simple. It was a good reminder of how doable simple is. They have no refrigerator there and so what Amy cooked for lunch, we would eat again for dinner and then sometimes even again for breakfast. The first two days we ate local food made by villagers to welcome us to town. We got the pleasure of trying, fish, porcupine meat, bird meat, and deer meat. The food was pretty spicy, but had good flavor.
The second day there we went to meet the village chief. He welcomed us with some cocoa beans and chili powder that we ate and “wisdom” water to drink. I was put on the spot to say something and realized that I always had relied on Joel for such speeches.
Amy and Aaron get their water from a nearby well and walk it to their house. For the first time since they had been in the village, there was a water shortage, and so they only unlocked the well at certain hours of the day to keep it from drying up. The heavy rains are expected at anytime which would solve that problem.
One day I traveled out to Aaron and Amy’s field. Two years back they planted rice on the field just like the villagers, however the past few years they haven’t been around enough to plant and have stuck to the veggies in their garden. They still however had fruit trees planted and so we went out to see if anything was ripe.
The way back to Monrovia was on my own. However Aaron came with me out of the village to make sure I made it and to bring supplies back in. We rode 2 motorcycles out driven by two youth from the village. The trip out was 2 hours. Some of the “road” had been cleaned by the villagers and was clear, other sections were being taken back by the forest. We drove through huge puddles, soaking my feet, and across bridges that are in desperate need of repair. However despite the youth of our drivers, I could tell that they had navigated these paths many times and got us to the airstrip safe and sound.
In Monrovia, I stayed with a family who had been in Liberia during the war. She had quite the stories to tell from the past 10 years. The airport in Liberia was small – to say the least. There were no computers there that I could see and so they hand wrote out a boarding pass for me. We were greeted in Casablanca by people in hazmat suits, and had to be scanned by some machine before we could pass into their airport. Because my boarding pass was hand written, I had to go to the desk and get my next boarding pass and the lady there put me up in a hotel for my 12 hour layover. So what seemed like a hassle ended up being a blessing in disguise. At the hotel they feed me and I even got to take a full pressurized hot shower, it was AMAZING!!!
I arrived back tired, but so glad that I went! God blessed me beyond belief and things went incredibly smoother than I thought they would We have 3 weeks at home before our next trip which will take us down to Guinea.