Thursday, September 20, 2007

to serve the world proud

earlier this week (maybe it was last week???) cami asked me who was my favorite person in the Bible. obviously, you cannot answer this question, "Jesus!" - that is just lazy. unlike most "favorites" in my life - always changing depending on circumstance and realizations - my favorite person in the Bible has remained the same for a number of years. mary. so cami and i talked for a good long while about the faith of mary, her instinct to ask questions, her willingness to ignore conventions, her joy in the face of impending hard times... then i played the patty griffin song for cami (it is so fun to introduce people to my friend patty) and we both cried and i'm so glad that she asked me that question... it's provided some focus over the last few days.

on monday i started sitting in on the book discussions and business meetings with the sierra leonean interns. they are a really neat group of people, and by the end of the year at least a few of them will be staff members. sorta. almost. we don't have a sierra leonean board yet, so actual staff positions might be a little way off... the point is, these are very great people and i'm excited about the things we will learn from and with each other. they are doing a lot of stuff, but the main responsibility is that they act as sort of small group leaders / case managers for the lighthouse program. i'm excited to see how my brief (but full) experience as a case manager might help streamline some of their goals, scheduling, policies, paperwork. it isn't really consistent with the sierra leonean way of doing things, and if you know me you know how rediculously culturally sensitive i can be, but i think some consistency of expectations on both sides would be really great for the young adults in the program as well as the staff. we shall see...

we took a break during that meeting and george (intern) was listening to the radio because they were expected to announce the election results. when they announced that the APC won you could hear a roar of excitement coming from all over our part of town. and it went on and on and on... for hours. faye went into town later and said that there were people marching and celebrating all over and then they actually swore in the new president, ernest bai koroma, that very evening. i didn't hear the ceremony myself, but apparently the ex-president and ex-vice-president (who was the opponent in this election) both gave speaches and spoke highly of ernest, saying that this was the president for ALL of sierra leone and that there was no reason to be divided any longer. it was all so HOPEFUL. i heard someone last night say that the sierra leoneans in her office seem gaurded. but almost every sierra leonean i know is PUMPED. freetown can be a really rough place. the poor are desperate. but they are the ones who elected this president. that is exciting if you ask me. there is a headline on the BBC website today that says "violence spreads in sierra leone" but i have seen or heard of nothing in freetown. it sounds like people are acting out against the losing SLPP party in areas of the country which are still controlled by rebels. pray that this will end, and that the peace and hope i see in the capital city will not fade any time soon. (read more on faye's blog about the election)

i was sick again this week, which is why i didn't get to go dance in the rain and celebrate the new government. i self-diagnosed strep throat, started some heavy doses of penicillin, and it cleared up quite quickly and only cost me $0.33 and an afternoon of sleep. i love the lack of pharmaceutical regulations sometimes...

tomorrow i am going on an adventure! i am going to the airport to get erin and chris harrell. erin was on my servant team in 2005, and she and her husband will be in freetown as WMF interns for the next 5 weeks, discerning if they might come back as staff in the near future. exciting times! it will be good to talk with erin about all that has changed in the last 2 years. and it will be so fun to see freetown for the first time through chris' eyes. i can't wait to see them both! so, 'what's the adventure?' you may ask... well, getting to and from the airport, of course! they are only running one ferry right now, so the schedule is unpredictable. if it is late, we may have to take a pom-pom boat which is a long, skinny, dug-out canoe. there are just a lot of ways to get across the bay, so it could go a lot of different ways... none of this is any problem. the thing that could get interesting is that i will have to talk price ALL DAY. all day. which is kind of like a sport because it wears me out, but is really fun when you actually get a fair price. it's a small kind of victory. my competitive spirit loves it. my friend alimamy is going with me because he is fun, speaks krio and english, and he can carry heavy things.

okay, that's enough for today. this was supposed to be my day off, but i did work-related stuff all morning (both of my parents are at fault for modeling this kind of behavior my whole life). so i'm letting myself spend as much time as i want on the internet tonight. because i'm worth it. and now i will go home where we will have power in 20 minutes. i will charge my ipod, eat another peanut butter and banana sandwich, and spend the evening with my dear friend patty griffin.


Anonymous said...

hey steph,
last sunday i got to commission chris and erin at church. chris was talking about how he was so excited to meet the beautiful children of kroo bay. i got excited hearing him just talk about it. i can't believe that this sunday they will be with you all.

also, i am hoping that the ferry option works out ;)

when cami came to pick us up at the airport she brought papani (i'm not sure if that is how you spell it). i love that you all bring the kids along it is a GREAT way to be welcomed in to the country.


Hillary Evans said...

"She leaves her fingerprints everywhere. Every time the snow drifts, every way the sand shifts, even when the night lifts, she's always there." Yes, that makes sense.

I'm living vicariously through you. I can picture it all and it's lovely.