My family is here, my family is here!!! Well, some of them are. The long anticipated arrival of my mom, my sister and my sister’s baby girl Anna, happened on Wednesday. Could I be more excited?? I submit that I could NOT (loose Brian Regan reference there if you’re a fan). Since the combination of heat, jet lag and loud churches next door having all night services with a PA system seem to make some of these wimpy girls tired, I’ll take the opportunity of them sleeping to update you (Hi Dad!).
They came in on Wednesday and I was paranoid that something would go wrong and I wouldn’t get to the airport to pick them up. Praise the Lord they made it just fine! I’m not sure exactly what happened in the design of the airport, but in order to get to the capital city you have to cross a large body of water….on a ferry. Now, I’ve done this ferry a million times and never had any problems. (And by that I mean that I’ve never feared for my life while on it). This time, as I drove off the ferry to go collect my family I was listening to the BBC and heard about a ferry that capsized in Tanzania. 200 people died.
Now I don’t have children so I don’t really know about that whole fiercely protective, Mama Bear thing, but the thought of putting my little niece on the ferry made me….nervous. I didn’t want to freak out my sister (who can we just say is incredible for even bringing a one year old over here?!?!) but I wanted her to have all the facts. So I told her about the whole ferry capsizing situation. We debated about going to the top of the ferry so that in case of a capsizing we could jump off easily. But the ferry is jam packed with people and the three of them had just travelled thousands of miles and were just a wee bit sleepy. So we came up with an escape plan that involved shimming out of the sunroof in case of an impending capsize. We're geniuses.
What with this being Africa and all, it was a bit warm so we decided to keep the car running with the AC on. Apparently you’re not supposed to let a car idle with the AC on. Who knew?? We had a bit of an overheating problem (didn’t actually have any problems but the line got real close to the red....don't worry Chad, we did not kill your car). Fortunately my friend knows something about cars (shout out John) so he talked me through it and after about 30 minutes of waiting on the side of the road….in the city…..in the dark….with a 1 year old….and a little bit of on the job mechanic school.....we were off!! Made it back with no more problems….just a little later than we’d planned. Thanks Jesus!!
The next day we had a little lunch birthday celebration for my friend’s son. He and Anna were actually due on the same day but were born 3 weeks apart. They are now friends and if all goes according to plan, will be husband and wife in 20 to 30 years. These pictures will be shown at the traditional slide show. Hopefully those things will still be in fashion. Anyway. We had their lunch party and then later we went to the Bible Study that my friend Kaysie has at the house every week. Sometimes I feel like I have 3 lives. My life in Oregon, my life in Freetown, and my life up country. It’s always fun when those lives intersect.
|"Please give me some cake Aden!! I'm so hungry!"|
|My turn, my turn!|
The next day our plan was to go to the beach…but it literally poured All. Day. Long. It turned out that it was kind of a blessing as we just relaxed and hung out at the house all day. I got caught up on my People magazine (I know I’ve been here for a while now because I don’t know who a lot of those people are anymore!) and we ate and talked and ate and talked. Good times!
On Saturday we headed up to the village that I work in. I was super excited for them to see the place that I call home and meet everyone that I talk about all the time. I warned them that the road was bad, but I don’t think they believed me. They kept saying “You just can’t capture it with a picture.” The road was worse than usual and my 6 hour drive turned into 7. Praise Jesus there were no breakdowns!!! Seriously. Thank You.
|On our day off we explored the house and saw the goats and the "pup pups"|
We stopped off at a village on the way up to see an old patient that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. It was Anna’s first encounter with a village full of precious, well- meaning African ladies who attacked her with attention. She took it all in stride….although she was glad to be back in Mama’s arms. J
|I'll be honest that there was a SMALL part of me that felt vindicated for the THOUSANDS of children that have made me feel like Frankenstein as they ran from me screaming.|
|They were literally crowded around the window to see the "white pikin"|
We spent a few days in the village. We went to church and I got to introduce my fam to all the people that I’ve come to love up here. Anna made some new friends as well! The day we arrived we had kids coming to the house and after word spread that there was an “opoto” (white) baby in town, the kids came in droves. Usually when I walk through town I’ll hear “white! White! White.” Occasionally it will be “Emily!” By our second day in town it was “Anna! Anna! Anna!”
|Bath time Sierra Leonean style|
One of Anna’s new friends was a little boy who has come to my house a lot. He’s seen the picture I have of Anna on my wall and knows that her name is “Baby Anna.” He came with his cousin to visit and we put them together in the Pack N’ Play. A few hours later he came back and walked into the house saying “Where’s Baby Anna?” Too cute. J
|Anna and her new friend.|
It was a long drive, 7 hours driving each way on a road that is…..not excellent. I’ve been talking about their coming for months though, so I was really excited to get to show them off. J Than