Tuesday, May 10, 2011

sierra leone.

I mentioned earlier that I drove Alberta to Sierra Leone on Saturday, and I wanted to share with you a little more about the trip.

Around 6:00 AM, James picked me up from my house and we headed out to Harbel. The thirty-minute morning drive was refreshingly quiet, as the city had not yet woken and the typically hectic streets were empty and still. A few minutes after I had dozed off in the passenger seat, James tapped me on the shoulder and told me open my eyes and look. I blinked wearily, slowly sat up in my seat, and was taken aback by the amazing view in front of us.

Words are going to fail me here, but I will try to set the scene anyway. We were just peaking a hill, and could see for miles in every direction. There were no people, houses or cars in sight, just a never ending forest of palm tress. The sky was a combination of pinks and golds as the sun rose over the horizon, and a thick mist fell over the palm trees, blanketing the forest with fog. Typically the roads are a mess of pedestrians and taxis and honking and insanity, so this was quite a sight to see.

When we arrived, Alberta's grandfather shook my hand and told me how thankful he was for what I was doing. While it always feels nice to be thanked, a big part of me felt like I didn't deserve his appreciation. God had answered his prayers, not me. All I did was take a few photos and make a few calls.

Alberta and her grandmother loaded up their two small bags, said goodbye to their family, and we were on our way. Alberta was very excited for the trip, as she had never been on a long car ride before.

After listening to many songs come from the backseat that I didn't know, I smiled when I recognized the lyrics to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." An hour or so into the trip, the singing subsided, and I looked back to see Alberta asleep on her grandmother's lap.

A few hours later, we arrived at the border. We pulled into the immigration office to get Alberta and her grandmother the documents they needed to cross into Sierra Leone. The process went smoother than I thought, and only took about twenty minutes. We were even given permission to drive Alberta and her grandmother across the border, something we didn't think we would be able to do. This was very good news, because we could now make sure Alberta and her grandmother were all set with a good taxi to take them to Freetown, the city about six hours away where the Mercy Ship is docked.

Once we found them a reliable car, we said our goodbyes and wished them luck on the rest of their journey. The send-off was bittersweet, as I was excited that Alberta was finally getting the help she needed, but at the same time sad that I may never see her again.

After a night of worrying and wondering if they made it, I finally heard confirmation on Sunday morning that they had arrived. Yesterday Alberta had her evaluation with the doctors, so I am currently awaiting news of when her surgery will be!

1 comment:

  1. re: sunrise - some things just take your breath away!

    keeping you and Alberta in my thoughts - I so look forward to more stories when we see you this summer!