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Thanks for reading about my adventure! The most recent happenings are posted up top, older stories as your scroll.

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Goodbye White Men

December 13th, 2015

Today three of our American team members headed back the states. It’s now just Saliha, me and the Liberian couple. Honestly, it was a tearful goodbye (on my part) because I have worked so closely with these guys for the past two years and now I may never see them again. I sure hope to though.

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The LLTW mission team. Ron Burnett, William Horace, Jonathon Burnett, Saliha Stewart, Bruce Bates, me (Laurie Scharp) and Helena Horace.

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Team Born in America. Saliha, Bruce, me, Jon, Ron at the LLW site.

Since two bedrooms just opened up I asked to have my own and I got one! I had my pick. I’m not sure I chose wisely, but I would think that with either choice I might think that. I chose Ron and Jon’s room. They both said it was hot. Jon said he never once covered up with the sheet, Ron said only one night did he cover. For comparison, I covered up every night. So their room is the only corner room and therefore has a window on each wall. I liked this for the sake of light but also I was deducting that a breeze could blow through there. I assumed that they were getting hot because they’re both tall, broad guys and they were sleeping in the same bed (father and son). Also, their room has a closet! With a light! read more

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A Night on the Town in Monrovia

December 12th, 2015

Last night was pretty fun. The first place was a bar and restaurant that was very Liberian, called Vicky’s Fingers where we sat outside and had fried fish with cassava farina salad with various vegetables in it and drank Club Beer, the native Liberian beer. I was encouraged to eat some of the head of the fish. The “wingman” says he eats the entire head, skull and all and that it makes him smarter. He seemed smart, so I at least dug out the eye and ate it. I wouldn’t say it was delicious but it wasn’t terrible. read more

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More Village Exploring

December 11th, 2015

Today was a great day! We went back to the LLTW site with the main purpose of exploring more villages. We hiked about 45 min to a village called Kpanjah (pronounced Panja). On the way we found a school and a medical clinic. We stopped by both. At the school we were told by one of the head teachers that it was the end of the day so they brought all the classes together to sing a couple songs before they release them. The children sang a song for us, one we have heard before in this area, called “He Didn’t Have to But He Did” a song about Jesus’ sacrifice for us. There must have been about 35 kids and maybe 5 adults. The head teacher said that the teachers were all volunteers.

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Water

December 9th, 2015

Yesterday we went swimming again! This time at one of the supposedly best resorts in West Africa, Kendeja Resort which is owned by the guy who owns BET. It was pretty nice for Liberian standards. Expensive prices though. And I got baptized in their cross shaped pool!

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Let’s Go Down to the Riptide

December 8th, 2015

Yesterday we went swimming in the strong undertow of the West Coast of Africa, AKA the East Shore of the Atlantic. The water was warm and it was such a blast. A beautiful deserted beach, under a palm canopy. It was incredible. Such a peaceful setting. I would not recommend the rough tide to an insecure swimmer but to those confident in the water and/or ocean, it is very doable and encouraged by me. We all had a blast. Lots of sand in our suits. I’m sure glad at the last minute I switched my swimsuit bottoms when I was packing. My green bottoms would not have been compatible with these waves.

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I’m in Africa!

December 5th, 2015

(I don’t have internet access right now so I’m just writing this and posting later. The post date will match when I write it.)

I have now been in Liberia for almost 24 hours. My skin is dewy, I guess one would say. It is humid here and my thermometer says the the temp right now is 31 C or 88 F. I just got done with a 3 hour nap. I still feel tired!

The flights were successful this time around. My original flights should have started Tuesday Dec 1 and got me to Africa Dec 2. Well my Omaha flight was delayed so much that I would have missed my other flights, and the African flight is only three times a week. So I called my dad and had him pick me up and we hung out for a couple more days. I next went to the Omaha airport Thursday and flew and laid-over for a total of 36 hours. I slept about 4 hours during the flights. Glad that’s over!

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Road Trip! and Nebraska.

November 30th, 2015

I was going to write about the craziness of my last month in New England, my period of living out of boxes and bags and my car and friends’ houses and my long drive to Nebraska. But, who wants to hear about that? I don’t know, Africa will probably be more exciting. Bottom line: I worked my butt off for all this. I had some fun and some joy and some stress and I can’t wait for the pay off. Which comes in just a couple days!!

Here’s the cliff notes for my last two months:

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On Being Scared

July 9th, 2015
everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear george addair graphic by laurie scharp

First and foremost, one of my fears is opening up and getting personal to “just anybody” and that certainly includes the internet. But months ago, when I told someone (who also loves Africa and has been to a bunch of countries, a bunch of times) about my plan for my website and blog,  she said “That is so awesome. I hope you make it really personal.” My first thought was, “Oh, I hardly like posting things on Facebook…” So yeah. Also, I’ve been feeling a lot of feelings lately related to this life change and it’s not been easy to necessarily express it. So, here we go. read more

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Building Websites and Managing Social Media

May 24th, 2015

So why websites and social media?

Since January 2014 I’ve been the website and social media manager for a local (Mass/RI) non-profit group doing work in Liberia (Love Lights the Way). I have had a love for Africa for decades, I had some friends of friends involved on the board of LLTW, I contacted them through the website and the rest is history. It has been an amazing experience for so many reasons. Before that I had never touched the backside of a website and was (and still am) pretty modest in my own social media (mostly Facebook) posting, but that’s where their need was and I was like “Heck yeah, I can do that!” read more

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I’m Going to Africa!

March 17th, 2015

This fall/winter (current estimate is December 2015) I’m going to Liberia, Uganda and Kenya to volunteer at schools, orphanages and community development centers for 6 months!  I’m very excited about this adventure. I plan to go for 6 months, but I would be very thrilled if an interesting and/or paid opportunity came up to stay longer.

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