This past weekend, Andrew and I took a weekend trip to the nearby, coastal town of Robertsport, Liberia. The weather was cool, the moon was full, and the secluded beaches were lovely. We camped on the shore beneath a grove of native trees, and with the light of the full moon in our faces, we laid awake for a while. So, with no wifi signal or electronics to provide us with entertainment, and feeling inspired by the natural beauty around us, I resorted to a tradition found in every culture around the world dating back hundreds of generations.
I decided to tell a story. And it went something like this….
“April is the cruelest month…” begins T.S. Eliot’s brilliant modernist poem entitled The Waste Land before he laments the confusion brought on by all the possibilities of springtime.
If you, like me, grew up in the U.S. South, I’m sure you would quite agree that April is actually a brilliant month. The sun shines longer, the temperature is warmer, spring break is near, early crops are fruiting, and flowers are blossoming! The only confusion is about how many supplies to take as you head out for a day of fun.
My initiation into new experiences while in Africa seem to begin with a baptism by what I affectionately call “bucket baths”: those daily ablutions that occur with a limited resource of hot water that has been carried to the shower in a bucket or pot (depending on whatever vessel might be available) and enjoyed immensely in the knowledge that one is lucky to have the opportunity to wash away the day’s oil, dust, and dirt to make way for a restful night and a fresh adventure the next day.
When I was younger, I dreamed of Africa. I craved the adventure of it. The mystery of it. The exoticism of it. As a girl, I envisioned myself as an adult, bringing change to the continent in my own way … which just happened to evoke brilliant smiles that surrounded me in appreciation and mutual connection. That dream never left me. Six months ago, I joined my husband in Liberia and had this very vision in mind.
Happy December! As I have been pressed for time because of research papers and projects, I’ve filmed another vlog for this week. (My face in the preview looks more serious than the vlog actually is! LOL
The Liberian dry season technically started on October 15th, but it doesn’t officially start until the fruit bats return to Monrovia. They arrived this week!
Boundaries. They are important in any relationship, any partnership, any interaction. We’ve been reading a lot about them in the news lately: boundaries crossed, boundaries not respected, boundaries ignored. This can happen with words, gestures, actions, or even intentions; and once crossed, the damage is done.