Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Leaving for Sierra Leone!

Okay, so... I know I need to get some sleep, we leave 5 1/2 hours from now.... but there's something about the night before I leave... so many thoughts rushing through my head... so many last minute things I think of (like needing to sync and charge the ipod, or update my blog for possibly the last time this month)... that sleep just isn't the right choice yet.

We did a bunch of group pictures, none with everyone due to poorly coordinated schedules:

This one includes Hannah, a great gal from the base here in Texas that won't be joining us in Africa, but we needed to get a picture with her!  And let me tell you, it our choice of a black shirt for a team shirt... HOT!  Especially when the temp is above 101F!  Unfortunately, there were a number of people that didn't show up to this picture shoot... so...

We did a second picture later in the evening.  We did take some "nice" ones, but this one is just so much more fun!!!

This morning we had a special hot breakfast, followed by a final class... of sorts.  We had to sum up what we learned in the last month, by doing something creative in groups.  My table chose to twist the tale of Snow White into a something that could show a number of principles.  I had the role of the 911 responder (I told you we twisted the story) who did the heimlich/chest compression that saved her life so she could confront her stepmother the next day about the apple, and make peace with her!  After our presentations (that we had about 15mins to put together, I figure we did pretty good!)  we got certificates of completion.
This is our small group leader, Sue, followed by the members of the small group I was in: Annika, Me, Toni, Amy and Hannah (Veronica was the other member of the group but couldn't make it today).  Sue was reading a limerick she wrote thanks to a discussion we had one day.  I won't go into detail, but lets just say Annika and I are nurses and got very... um... informative one day in small group.  But they asked for it!!!
By the time we were done with all the details, we had lunch (even though we still felt full), and then it was back to the dorm for the final clean-up and packing.  Shock of all shocks, I finished packing the night before!!!!  All of our packing and dorm clean up was done by 3:30 this afternoon when they came to inspect the dorm.  Which meant we had plenty of time for multiple picture shoots, going out for one last drink at the cafe on the base, and a movie before bed!  Oh, we also had a short meeting to go over travel plans... ie: how we plan to stick together at the airports during crucial moments such as customs and make sure everyone gets through okay.  And to pray for safe travels.  I would appreciate all the prayers you're willing to send our way.  We leave here at 5:45 in the morning, and drive for 2 hours to the Dallas airport where we'll arrive 3 hours early, to make sure we can get all our details sorted.  Then we fly to New York, Brussels, Sierra Leone, each with short layovers.  Finally, sometime after 5pm Thursday local time, we will arrive at our destination, go through customs, take a water taxi across a massive river, and then... uh... taxi's/Poda-poda (I think) to the small village where we'll be staying.  
There, we will stay in a "new" 3-year old hotel, 20 people to a room with a curtain to separate the men and the women.  There is plumbing and air conditioning... depending on those things actually functioning.  No internet until I get to the ship.  No phones (that I know of).  
While we're there, the plan is to build latrines for the school, do a quick health survey of the kids (height/weight etc), do a dental screening, do VBS (somehow I got to run that one), and whatever else comes to mind while we're there.   It is currently rainy season, so we've all been told to buy rubber boots (wish I had brought mine instead of packing them away) and ponchos.  The temperature there is cooler than it has been here... but more humid.  Our group has 7 nationalities, and two families with children (one family is that of the two people leading the trip).  So the dynamics should be interesting, with ages from 4 to 62.  Here we go,
off to Sierra Leone!!

1 comment:

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

Have a fantastic time!!!!

Will definitely be sending prayers for you and your group.