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Showing posts from December, 2008

Diary of Sierra Leone - Sunday night - the 'Presidential Dinner'

After the Cinderella party we had a short time before it was time to go to the final culmination of our time, the big 'Presidential Dinner' put on for all the COTN staff to honor Chris and Debbie Clark. On the schedule, this afternoon time was actually written in as 'personal time' - time for the team members to do whatever we felt like we needed to do - rest, pack, journal, spend time with someone. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I went back down to the children's village to hang out with T. and his friends. I didn't take my camera. While I loved getting pictures - and had a goal to take as many as possible on the trip, it also was a HUGE distraction. The kids ALL want their picture taken - and they ALL want to see each and every picture, crowding around the little screen and giggling. I thought it would be easier to just leave it back in my room this time so I could just be... a person. Not a person with a camera... It was already starting to get dark

Diary of Sierra Leone - Sunday afternoon - The Cinderella Party

Several years ago, Mama Angie (the country director of COTN Sierra Leone) came to the States with two of the children from the children's home, Patricia and Capri. (They came to our church on this visit and this was the first time we heard about COTN as a family.) While they were in the States, Patricia had a birthday, and Debbie Clark threw a Cinderella themed birthday party for her. At that party, Debbie heard Mama Angie mention that someday she would like to have a Cinderella party. Consequently, I got to help throw a Cinderella Party for Mama Angie on Sunday afternoon with all the girls, the house mothers, and the female staff of COTN. Debbie, Becky and I spent hours wrapping Hostess Ding Dongs brought from home in tulle, putting together goodie bags with tiaras and candy necklaces and filling little 'glass' slippers with butter mints. We decorated the veranda with lots of ruffles and lace and had all the girls wear their very best dresses. We gave them bubbles to bl


Spokane has had snow falling for over 28 hours. Non-stop. It's a winter wonderland. And it takes a LOT of work to shovel it all. But it sure is pretty... The kids are home from school, of course. We've surpassed the 24 hour record for snowfall - it used to be 13" and we had over 19.5" fall in a 24 hour period. CRAZY!!! I think I'll be finishing my Christmas cards today... nothing else to do!

Diary of Sierra Leone - Saturday afternoon and evening

After lunch on Saturday, Debbie, Becky and I spent a couple of hours getting ready for a party planned with the girls of the children's home scheduled for Sunday afternoon. We made party favors and wrapped Ding-Dongs brought from home in tulle... while we were preparing, we could hear the cheers from the football field where a huge tournament was taking place. We finished up and walked over toward the end of the womens' game... Football (soccer) is huge in Sierra Leone, as it is in most of the world. Tejan loved to play, and even with his leg, could run circles around the rest of us when we'd walk over to the field by our house to play as a family. Saturday afternoon the COTN team played against a team of surrounding villagers. The women played first, then the men. Some observations: whenever a goal was made, EVERYONE supporting that team ran out onto the field to celebrate. It was mayhem. A couple of times, there were disagreements about calls made by the officials... t


It's the return of the Tuesday Ten... 'been awhile. "Diary of Sierra Leone" will return tomorrow. I've been surprised how much emotional energy it takes to write those entries... I just find I can't do it as quickly as I thought I would. It's okay though - the more I drag it out, the more I get to savor the memories. I finally got some Christmas presents under the tree yesterday. It looks so nice. Baby, it's cold outside. Like, realllllllly cold. Makes me want to stay inside all the time. Also makes me want to not get the next power bill - the heater is going constantly . Asia has actually been home the last few weeks. After being gone SO much in October and November, I'm loving his very presence. Together is good. We had a Christmas party with our small group on Sunday... lots of good food and good fun. I made L'il Smokies wrapped in bacon and baked in a brown sugar glaze... (I know - how healthy !) and I am telling you - they were d.e.l.i.c

This just in...

My teammate, Jim Brown, just emailed me these pictures from my trip... this is from the baptism I described in my post about our first day in Banta. They make me extremely happy... I'm so happy he sent them.

Diary of Sierra Leone - Saturday morning

Saturday morning was the time I was most looking forward to when I saw the proposed schedule for my trip. The women on the team were scheduled to go down to the children's homes to visit and meet the kids while the men put on a conference for the 15 area pastors. The 'children's village', as it's called, is on one end of the COTN property, separated from the offices and the school campus. We walked down with Quami about 9:00 am Saturday morning. As you crest a small hill, you can just see the tops of the children's homes amongst the trees. I was blown away by the beauty of Sierra Leone each time I made this trek... Once you arrive at the village, you see the separate homes. There are ten of them, five for boys and five for girls. Each home has about 10 children, as well as a house mother and an auntie. All the mothers and aunties are African. Each home has it's own garden, a small kitchen in a nearby outbuilding, and an indoor bathroom facility. As of righ

Diary of Sierra Leone - Friday November 21st

From my journal: "Not sure of the time - my cell has no coverage here and there is no clock in my room. I was awakened before dawn to the sound of praises being sung and since then there has been constant activity outside my window. I've heard water being carried and poured, chickens making chicken sounds and men and women chattering about their chores. These people work SO hard. And they are so hospitable. I am humbled... they work ten times as hard to make me comfortable as I do when I have a guest. I have two beautiful girls assigned to me - to making sure I am comfortable and cared for... Sybil and Madiana. They are so lovely. We had a brief chance to visit last night... I'm eager to get to know them better. I didn't sleep well at all last night. There was loud music playing for so long - not singing, but some sort of radio. I wanted silence so badly - it finally came and I slept. Perhaps the lack of a clock is a blessing - I have no idea how much or how l