Friday, June 14, 2013


I say it every week with some incredulation (yes, if you write the words-you can even make some up to fit your purpose): It's Friday already.

Last Friday I sat in Liberian humidity, hair soaked from roots to ends as I typed the LOV post. This morning, I am being refreshed by the too-cool-for-mid-June morning air wafting through my kitchen window, wearing thick comfy socks and a robe on top of pajamas. So I did not literally melt in Africa, but there we many times that I was sure I would end up in a puddle to be drunk by the ever-thirsting terracotta earth. I feel like shouting-I survived Africa! ( :   

But honesty prompts me to confess that I DID have an air conditioner in my bedroom (though with continuously open windows and it not being turned on in the daytime, the room maintained the ever-moist atmosphere), a shower whose weak flow only gave out twice while my head was lathered with shampoo, electricity in the Guest House (albeit also went off at inopportune times), and access to the internet.

Those of you who know how high-maintenance this chic is, will have some appreciation of my trip-and I didn't even complain! except when I think about being smooshed in a United economy airplane seat with a toddler sitting behind me kicking my seat and wailing for a good part of the trans-Atlantic flight (who decides who has the right to the shared arm rest? The bigger elbow? After leaning seven hours to the right, I claimed  the left arm rest when the passenger beside me went to the lavatory by maintaining elbow position).

Yes, beyond all reason, I still put on make-up everyday, knowing that all but the waterproof mascara would be rubbed off by my sweat rag-a.k.a. wash cloth (which I was happy to learn that most everyone carries one with them, even to church, though at a "nicer" church that I visited, I noticed that most of the ladies used white handkerchiefs; I just used mine twenty times as much).

I did have ICE (yeah for filtered water!!!) and even ice cream in Africa. So I am thinking that I cannot sing a victorious survival song till I go into the interior-with no running water or electricity (does anyone know of a solar-generated fan? please let me know!). Next visit!

Now that I have shared THAT- Today I write with the ladies who visit LisaJo Baker's blog where this unique cookie-cutter gives us a ONE word prompt with which to bake up a theme recipe in five, flat minutes.

Today the prompt is LISTEN.

It takes three days for my auditorially-challenged ear to tune in enough to understand maybe fifty percent of the Liberian English dialect spoken with soft-leathery tones in sing-song cadence. My head becomes too quickly tired from making sense of the every five words that I do understand. English can be spoken in as many flavors as there are Ben & Jerry's icecream.

I listen. Till like a newborn who falls asleep when there brain is overloaded with stimuli, I relish the quiet breaks.

Women. Empowered women. Courageous women. Women with visions to make their home country a restored, healthy haven after the ravages of a fourteen-year civil war destroyed governments, homes, bodies, and hearts.       

I listen to how lives have been changed by the benevolent work of many. I hear their plead for more help as the need seems bottomless. Haven is the dream desire, but they will settle for clean water, every belly full, opportunity for every child to gain an education, a place where victims of thoughtless violence can receive counseling.

I listen and consider what ACTION I can now take with the words that I have heard.


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