At lunch time we stopped to eat at Moyamba Junction which is a really popular place to eat. Ali was so excited because there he got to eat beef!!! (It's actually goat but I didn't have the heart to tell him). After lunch he was going on and on about how good the food was. I told him that I like beef, but chicken is my favorite! He just couldn't understand why I would want chicken when I could have beef!! (I will say that all that talking about beef did give me a hankering for my all time favorite hamburger from McDonalds).
After a long day with lots of stops along the way, we arrived at Ali's village. As we started getting closer, Ali started getting more and more excited. He started seeing people he knew and we had kids literally running after the car (they managed to keep up pretty well because the road was horrible so I had to go super slow!) As we passed a field he said "there's the field that broke my leg!"
Finally, we arrived at his village. This was one of my favorite parts. To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to going to the village very much because I knew I would be a spectacle. Those of you who know me know that I don't do particularly well in awkward social situations. Heck, I don't do super well in normal social situations. So as we were pulling up to the village I was mentally preparing myself for all the staring and gawking and people trying to talk to me in a language I didn't understand and then laughing when I don't know what they're saying. Never fear though!! As we pulled up, nobody even noticed me! Ali was the absolute center of attention! It was like a hometown celebrity coming home. Everyone was talking to him at the same time, looking at his cast, asking about his trip. It was great! He was eating the attention up...and was just so glad to be home! At one point I looked over and both Ali and his father had groups literally sitting at their feet asking them questions. I heard Ali's father tell someone that we had travelled over 200 miles!!It was nearing dusk when we arrived so I knew that we wouldn't have much time. I make it a point to not travel at night for safety reasons, so I needed to get on the road. But apparently Ali's dad had called ahead because they had a meal prepared for us. As I took my first bite, I was shocked when I realized that it wasn't spicy!! (I really struggle with the African food here because it is SO spicy...and I don't do spicy very well. I just recently started thinking that ketchup wasn't too spicy.) Apparently one of the pastors had told Ali that I didn't really like the spicy food much and they had made it especially for me. Wow. Then they proceeded to bring out a ton of pineapple and coconut. (Ali's dad had been asking me if I liked that stuff during the trip but it didn't occur to me that he was arranging this.) Then they brought out some chickens. He remembered that I'd said I liked chicken more than beef so he gave me 4 live chickens!! I wasn't really sure what to do because it was SO much, but I didn't want to offend him by not taking them....so I loaded them up in the backseat. Sorry Chad!! (Who's car I borrowed). Anyway, I think that that experience was probably one of my best in Sierra Leone to date. The family and community were just so thankful and I was just so grateful that we'd been there when it happened and that the team had been willing to sacrifice to help this kiddo out. Even though the day was really long, I left that village on cloud 9. I told God that if I never got to see the fruits of any more labor here in Sierra Leone...that was enough. :) I'm satisfied. The next morning we headed out early to meet with someone about the team coming next month. When I got back from the meeting, this is what I saw in the car.
Oops!! Now I'm really sorry Chad!! But don't worry...I cleaned up all the poo. And I think my bag got the worst of it!