What a trip! This is my 5th time to Liberia and each time I go back I find my heart falling more in love with the country but mainly the people. Slowly the country is making improvements and the broken pieces from 12 years of war are getting glued back together.
The main reasons for us taking this trip was for Greg's family to finally meet Hailey and also for us to see everyone once more before our longer than normal stay in America due to visa and schooling issues. We had made plans to go to Liberia when Greg's sister Grace could get time off from her work in the Sudan but 2 weeks before our trip she emailed saying that sadly she would not be able to get time off. Greg and I were both disappointed but knew she couldn't do anything about it.
As our flight landed in Monrovia we were swept through customs due to friends of friends working at immigration (I love Africa!) and then were told we had a car waiting for us outside. As we walked outside I saw Greg run and hug someone (not a usual Greg thang) and then heard him yell "Gracie!" Praise God! Long story short the day before we left she was able to push her work through faster than normal and then was put on a special UN plane and arrived 2 hours before us. God is soooo good!
During our week in Liberia we stayed with Gracie and Petro and their 3 adorable little girls Gifty (9), Peace (7), and Precious (5). We also were blessed to spend a full two days with Michelle, Greg's 7 year old daughter. They all LOVED having Hailey around and pretty much carried her everywhere and fed her pretty much everything (when Mom wasn't around). I am pretty sure that Hailey is not allergic to cream salt crackers, Coke, cherry lollipops, cheese puffs, oh yeah and blue M & M's.
|Petro and Gracie on their 10 year anniversary!|
|The girls! The matching girls are the nieces, Michelle is in the blue dress, and Lela a friend of the girls.|
We also had the huge blessing of seeing Greg's family from Nimba (6 hours north). His Mom Ruth and his sister Francis came down with their newest member Bradley. He is exactly one month older than Hailey and just like Zoe was very interested in Hailey's hair. Greg's stepdad and two other sisters weren't able to come down to Monrovia due to work and school but we were able to talk with them and send our greetings along.
|Bradley eyeing Hailey's hair.|
|Francis and Bradley with Grandma Ruth and Hailey.|
|From L to R: Benetta, Greg, Me, Hailey, Bradley, Francis, Ruth, and Martha.|
|Grandpa with all of his granddaughters! Sadly his wife |
wasn't able to come with us but she sent her love.
|Hailey and Greg playing with Michelle!|
|Hanging out at Petro and Gracie's house.|
*Trying to store milk or food when you don't have electricity.
*Keeping babies healthy with them surrounded by dirt when all they want to do is put everything in their mouths.
*The amount of water needed to keep up with a family especially a baby who takes multiple baths a and dirties 2-3 outfits a day. #I usually would just let her stay in the dirty outfit but when I did the ants were attracted to her sweetness
These experiences and many others helped me to see even more why certain things happen or why people do the things the way they do.
|Hailey enjoying the cool water.|
|Greg and Mamoh with the hand well made with local resources.|
|Mamoh and Annika with us. ;0)|
Our time in Liberia was amazing filled with lots of conversations, laughter, and photos. As we boarded the plane I couldn't help but cry with having to say bye to so many amazing people on top of the uncertainty of when we would see them again.
Prior to taking this trip Greg and I were pretty sure that this is where we would end up living and working but after this trip we are beyond certain that this is where God wants us. There are still many many uncertainties ahead but we are putting it all in God's hands knowing that he knows what's best.