(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!
The drive from the airport was about an hour to the home where we are staying. It was dark but I stared out the window the whole time and tried to see what I could. It was about 10 to 11 pm when the drive was taking place. Lots of people were outside. Families and communities hanging out doors. There were lots of roadside, open bar/restaurants where you would see people sitting, maybe watching tv, presumably eating or drinking. There was tons of smoke in the air. In Liberia everyone burns their trash and most of the cooking is done on charcoal.
When I got to the house (with the three other guys I was traveling with from Rhode Island) we met up with the mom of the house, Helena, and Saliha, another LLTW volunteer who lives in South Carolina. Saliha and I are roommates! We have our own bathroom. They’re still hooking up our running water. Last night we had no running water but had clean water to do bucket showers and to flush the toilet. That’s fine by me! After a shower you get sticky right away anyways. Today they hooked up the shower. So now we have a gentle hose to wash ourselves. The water comes from the house’s water tower, so I’m paranoid that we’re going to run it dry. Tomorrow they plan to hook up the toilet and sink. The house is pretty well lit, running on a generator that seems to runs well. They turn it on when the sun goes down and then turn it off when it’s time to wake up. So we have a fan at night! Yay! It’s needed. There is no light in the bathroom, which is on the list to be fixed, but I have my great LED mini lantern and a little flash light which are working GREAT. And yes, Dad, I’m so glad I have the battery charger. My phone is charging right now and it’s working great (the phone part is turned off but it can do offline apps and use wifi when available)! Same plugs here as in the US, but 220 Voltage. All of my devices seem to do 110-240 so I don’t need any converter/transformer.
Today we went to the LLTW site. We squeezed into a little SUV and drove about 30 min to the site. The paved roads were nice but there were mostly dirt roads which were rough! We had lots of laughs on the drive. At the site they were putting up our new school’s foundation. Very much still in the early stages and they are doing it with just hand tools. We walked through the bush to get to the nearest Village, called Clements Village (Villages are often named after the primary elder who resides there’s last name), which has about 5 houses. What a great experience! We ran into about 10 adults total and about 10 kids. We saw buildings made out of mud, cement and bamboo. We saw all sorts of palm trees, TONS of lizards, pineapple farms and just the experience of “hiking through the bush” was great.
The guys will be leaving on the 13th, and then it’s just the married couple (Helena and William Horace) and Saliha and I. And on the 20th we’re going to a 10 year wedding anniversary party, which apparently will be a very fancy wedding style party, so we’re excited for that!