Monday, February 25, 2008

at long last!

The pictures are posted and captioned! Here's the deal - I left my compound and walked toward the Atlantic Ocean, wandered through the communities that live near the coast, looped past the fishing beach, headed back toward the main road (runs out to the airport and Firestone's rubber plantation), walked the road toward the Junction and then turned around and walked back to my compound. The scenery is truly amazing (I lucked out and the lighting was even more incredible than usual the day I took the pictures) and I'm still struck by how green the green is in Liberia! It's such a fertile country and the vegetation is lush and beautiful - if only there wasn't trash strewn everywhere and crumbling buildings that families have been forced to turn into homes. Oh Mama Africa!

Let me know if you have questions. I also added a few more pictures to my original Liberia album so get in there too! Use the link below or the one on the right side like before.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

alive in ohio

hey friends!

I've had a whirlwind tour going the past week after I made it back safe to the US and have been delighted to reconnect with friends and family to do some regrouping, sharing of positive vibes and plenty of laughing! I'm in Ohio now and should (cross your fingers) be uploading my remaining pictures within the next couple days. Sorry for the dramatic delay!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

pictures coming soon

I took my camera with me today and basically documented a 'walking tour' of the area I've been living. No time to upload all the picts now cause there are over 75 or so but check back in a week or two and you'll FINALLY get to see what I've been seeing! The good, the bad, the ugly - it's all there.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

breaking up is hard to do

For a while now things have been kind of a mess here – my mom would argue that it’s been bad since I arrived, but she might be biased. To my attentive blog readers you may have noticed that bad things just keep happening in my life here and despite everything I’m glad to say I’ve kept my head up along the way. Suddenly though, the time has come when this camel’s load has become all too heavy and I’ve really taken a hard look at how far and wide my ‘happy moments’ have been scattered. And possibly much to your surprise (frankly I surprised myself with this!) I’ve decided it’s my time to leave Liberia. I’ve been sacrificing a lot to be here and have been investing a great deal of my time and energy but I don’t feel that the progress that my volunteer efforts are making is enough to warrant staying any longer. Please know that I’m personally perplexed to be walking away after only a few months as my intentions were to stay much longer, but simultaneously I’m eager to have the opportunity to see what life will throw at me next! I’ve learned so much from this experience and perhaps because I’m departing so abruptly I’m already reflecting on what an amazing, intense and self-defining adventure I’ve been privileged to have

I want to thank all of you who offered your support during the past months. Your emails of encouragement, blog post comments sharing your appreciation of my trials and triumphs, and your donations that significantly helped off-set the expenses of leaving America to try and do a little good in the world proved to be priceless commodities toward my success. Literally, I could not have come this far without your continual generosity, kindness, love and advice from afar. I have no regrets about this journey and look forward to sharing my fresh skills with a new organization and community.

Because ticket fares are set to drastically increase after this coming week and flights only operate out of here a couple days each week, I’ll be leaving Liberia on Monday (in 2 days) at 4am to return to the States. I’ll be regrouping with friends and family for a bit and will be pursuing non-profit job possibilities in the metro Detroit area. Thanks again for tuning in folks, I hope to see many of you in the coming weeks.

The world is your oyster!

(I will post sometime next week once I’ve gotten my footing so y’all will know I’m safe and sound!)

I'm no poet

but here’s what I know...

My Africa

A continent rich in tradition
culture overflowing
roots of all ancestry
Cities now developing
but still budding is the industry
The world’s eyes are trained to Africa
Nations’ aid goes out to Africa
Everyone expects much more of Africa

We hear of orphans bloating in Africa
of poverty prevailing in Africa
of AIDS killing in Africa
Missionaries descending in Africa
Revolutions uprising in Africa
Women still victimized in Africa
We know the faces from the television
We know the stories from sidewalk crusaders

Always ‘over there’
Always ‘those people’
All too often placing blame
lacking responsibility for humanity
Typically a mere handout
Not nearly enough of a hand up
Sustainable development requires listening
Altering the pattern demands engagement.

In My Africa
West Africa
with broad noses
planted square on faces
and eyes set dark
full of stories known and forgotten
the past riddled with civil wars
a shell of the land it once was

My Africa
Land of Liberty
where money divides
down a line ancestry started
where the rich get richer
and everyone dreams of America
while rice is life
plentiful fruits spoil for price

My Africa
Republic of Liberia
with its Atlantic breezes
rubber trees lean from the force
women dance, oh they dance
their legs flying fast
kids chasing past
in cloths that never did fit

My Africa
a glory land
where God is praised
for all success
and prayers are shared
with wishes for prosperity
a new year rising
hopes for restoration

My Africa
Mama Afreeka
with sharp sun
beating down
there’s work to be done
much togetherness can accomplish
privilege to be wielded
for the betterment of another life.