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A Whole New World

July 3, 2012

The morning of the interviews we all got up at 5:00 and left at 6:00 to be in Monrovia by 8:00.  It would take an hour to get to Red Light then another hour to reach to Mamba Point.  Morale was high as we left.  Festus lead everyone in prayer then Philicia started a few gospel songs.

We were entering new territory again and everyone had pulled together the best they could find of their church and school clothes, two of the boys wearing their uniform trousers because it was all they had.  They clutched their new plastic folders and, again, I could have hugged them.  Junaitor was the only one in the group who had ever been to Monrovia and as we entered town she became our tour guide.  George read every sign aloud with amazement.  “Total fuel station!”  Gasp.  “Ministry of Justice!”  Gasp. “African food center!”  Gasp.  “Oh!  Food is ready!”  He would have leapt from his seat if he hadn’t been belted in.

Everything about this was so good and so right.  Surprisingly, spontaneously, and for the first time in probably fifteen years I looked out the window and started praying.  “God, whoever, whatever, and wherever you are, I beg that you see my children and that you help us.  They deserve this so much.  Please make the right thing happen.”

The driver took us to the wrong place and after small waiting and confusion we got there just two or three minutes late.  Not too bad if you ask me!  I helped them find the room upstairs, introduced myself, and crashed in an empty office while the students took their placement test.  I could barely stay awake, though, and had things to do at the office so as soon as I heard a break I snuck out.  I felt a little like they wanted me to go anyway, like when you don’t want your mom hanging around at school.  I was surprised and pleased to see the other people invited from Sanniquellie had made it on their own.  They looked rough, though, and I was proud of how prepared and professional my students looked in comparison.

I spent the day in the office, unfortunately neither resting nor working because a large group of Response Volunteers was getting ready to fly out and the place was packed.

Roland and I went to pick up the kids at 3:30 and I begged him to take the ocean side road and put us down small.  It was magic.  Everyone walked to the edge seriously and watched the rough waves crash against the beach.  Junaitor kicked off her slippers and let it kiss her toes.  She bent down and showed everyone that the waves were actually swirling with sand, catching handfuls as they broke.  George and Romeo ran down the beach excitedly, stopping to dip their hands in only to be surprised by a fresh wave.  They shouted and ran back to us.

“Ms. RB,” George turned to me, “is it true there is no end?”  I told him you could circle the world in a boat without having to get out—there was that much water.  He just shook his head and stared at the smooth, flat horizon.

We only had ten or fifteen minutes, though, so I took some pictures for them and piled them back in the car.  As we left the beach Roland pointed out the capital building.  “There’s my office!” Junaitor proclaimed.  “In five years I will return and they will say ‘Minister Junaitor, we’ve been waiting for you!’”

That’s my girl.

We reached Kakata and spent the night celebrating.  I put on my African dance music and we played Uno (George’s favorite game) then watched on African show Festus found online.  “I will stay up all night!” Festus proclaimed.  “I don’t want to waste a minute of this!”

They left at 7:30 the next morning and I stayed behind to help with training.  The driver told me they sang and jubilated the entire trip.  I hope they feel like the heroes they are.

Your thoughts are the architects of your destiny.
– David O. McKay

One Comment leave one →
  1. blondie permalink
    July 26, 2012 1:27 pm

    Wonderful, beautiful, spirited entry. Such a big door to the world has been opened!

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