Monday, October 07, 2013

My charmed life....

I had an epiphany today.

I realized that I *TRULY* live a charmed life.

Now, don't get me wrong, I still work hard, and have irritants daily, but today is the prime example of a Charmed life.

Here is how my day went.

I woke at 6 a.m. to get my 2 full time students out the door, I had food in the pantry and fridge plenty to feed them both.
After they were both situated I got to gaze out my front windows with breathtaking views. They never get old.

I then had the rest of my crew wake and fed.

I took my 10 year old daughter, who is homeschooling full-time outside to the hammock, where we read for an hour while lazing in the shade. The views from this side of my house are equally stunning, and I shared with her how I thought, "This is the most beautiful view in all the world" to which she replied...." No, you are." tears and a lump formed. She and I snuggled and giggled together. (Hammocks should be mandatory for raising kids)

Then I wrestled my rowdy boys into that same hammock, seriously testing its weight capacity, and the 3 of us had a tickle war, I made the same observation to my 7 year old son, about the utter beauty of our view.... as if on cue, he replied, "Nothing is more beautiful than you, Mom."
Gasp. Sigh.

It was at this very moment, that i realized this life I live, full of laundry, and legos, errands, and errors. Truly is The Life.

I promise you I have VAST flaws and room for improvement. But today. I am their world, and They are mine!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

One week later.......

One week later , I feel as if I have very little to report, the adventure has long worn off, and we still wait.

for any future adoptive parents, the waiting is torture.

We wait for phone calls, Wait for appointments, wait for traffic, wait for the water to boil, wait for dinner, wait for any news....

we wait

and wait

and wait.

When the process is complete, then you will be finished!

The Court decree has been signed. Legally he is ours.
His passport has been printed. (being picked up today)

Today we are SUPPOSED to get his Medical exam (proving he is fit for travel)
We have our Embassy appointment tomorrow, it is only a 'file briefing' but we are PRAYING if we have ALL our papers in order they will process the exit visa and SEND US HOME!

Black & White

There is right, and there is wrong.

We all attain to do what is right. Most of us can agree on that. So when you come to an issue that is grey-without a doubt you have to do some investigating and searching for the truth in a bad situation.

When you have seen something unethical bring about a HUGE blessing, it is hard to know where to stand.

Adoption has brought millions of children out of poverty, out of suffering and out of pain. So when you KNOW that the majority of adoptions have CORRUPTION throughout each case, how can you decipher where to stand?

I have not been overly angry about the unethical practices of some of the people who attended to my son's adoptions.

The agency did not assist us through the process, they ignored us. We had to navigate the entire confusing, frustrating process without a mentor or guide.
Then days before we were to travel we were emailed a 'liability waiver' I assume this is standard, but in the forms it clearly states that the agency IS NOT ACCOUNTABLE OR RESPONSIBLE for ANY fraud, misinformation, or any other effect of their representatives or their agents. Basically, we take your money, we make no promise of guarantee that you will get your son at the end of this ordeal, and we will not promise any action in an effort to assist along the way.

Very reassuring.

Then I found out the other 2 mom's who were adopting at the same time were charged $1000 LESS than I was. (friends' discount???)

There were so many discrepancies and irregularities, that my head was spinning. At that point, what was I to do? turn back? give up?
I was committed. (and they knew it)

Once we arrived in country the facilitators were very helpful, kind and attentive. They got started right away on our papers, and i felt like we were making real progress!

Then the lies ensued....First on day 8 of my time in Liberia, I was told that they had filed for his passport and they would be ready to request an embassy appointment within days! (of course I was ELATED-although suspicious)

then 3 weeks went by and each time I spoke with those same (kind, and helpful agents) they repeated the same information!
That any day now they were to file the passport papers and be ready to make an embassy appointment. It would have been funny, had it not been so infuriating!

I understand that 'professionals' want to keep their 'clients' happy, but I do not appreciate being lied to.
FINALLY after 5 weeks in the country we filed for the passport- and we completed the process. (while I awaited for my son to emerge from the government building for over 7 hours in the hot African Sun!)

That is only the tip of the ice-burg.

Then after our documents FAILED review at the US embassy the facilitator attempted to file documentation that was falsified. (he had bribed someone to create fake docs) I truly appreciated that they were trying to expedite the process, truly I do. But they KNEW it was false and they LIED.

When their lies were uncovered instead of MANNING UP- they tried to blame someone else!

Then the biggest frustration in ALL of the entire process- the agency HAD AGREED to do Divine's adoption, and they had made verbal promises and agreements.
After the stuff hit the fan with the MANY issues with the in-country facilitators we were told that they (Adoption Agency) was NO LONGER doing ANY adoptions in Liberia.

End of story.

They would NOT accept ANY new clients and they would not work on any more cases. They had 4 open cases that had already been contracted,and they were going to complete those and then wash their hands of the entire country. We had LENGTHY discussions about this decision.

They insinuate that the mishaps and issues that have occurred with my experience are some how my responsibility. Because I have shared openly the blatant missteps of their staff, I have shed doubt and mistrust with their agency, Um- Excuse me- MAYBE the fact that your staff have been DISHONEST and unethical could be the cause of that mistrust!! How can they blame ME (the customer) for their (the "Professional") mistakes?!

I do not comprehend how it can be my responsibility, I ONLY shared a VERY filtered very G-rated emotional experience, I have been told privately that my experience will deter other families to adopt. REALLY?

It is my DUTY as a Christian to hold my tongue, that regardless of the fact that I do not TRUST the ones who are handling ALL our paperwork in country, that the ethics and integrity are in question....

That if I LOVED the children, then I would NOT share these very same thoughts and experiences.

I am angry now-

This same agency who said, ""I had to stop adoptions now there as you know. I don't want to put the last hand full of adoption of have at risk either. I know you are not thrilled, and it is hard to be there so long and watch every little thing in the adoption."" ""I have families in process freaking out about some things you said, and I think other people in Liberia questioning things with us now, and it is sad to me. ""

Sad, is the fact that children are NOT going to have forever families because of the ethics and integrity (or lack thereof)
SAD is that despite the issues being reported- the agency is going to continue using these SAME agents (that have PROVEN they are dishonest)
SAD- is blaming the consumer for voicing CONCERNS and cutting us off- instead of attempting to remedy or offer solutions.

ANGRY i what I am.

ANGRY that this same agency is now doing adoptions for OTHER families. That they will NOT fix the problem, and that they will black list my family, and cut us off. communications has been their biggest weakness.

(we have not been in contact with them ONCE since Feb 16th 2013)


Reflecting and growing pains

I have been so busy with survival mode, I have not taken time to write down our family happenings. (although all 2 of my readers have called me ha ha ha)

Here is the run down of the past 2 months, April was a recoup from Liberia, and all the health problems I developed while in that country, honestly I am not sure it is from bugs I brought home, or the heart break I have had from leaving behind so many people that I love.

I have had a hard time getting back on track, the house stays clean, the kids stay fed, but my heart is just aching to be a part of a solution.
The hunger. The vast need. The gluttony of our Nation. The whining and self serving acts we all participate in daily.

Coming home has brought me to my knees, it has developed a bitterness and judgement towards all (including myself) for the abundance we take for granted!

At the same time I have enjoyed my clean beautiful home, my endless supply of food, and my family that surrounds and lifts me with their love.
I speak to someone from Liberia at least 3 times each week. If 8 days go by without a call, I get worried, and I start sending texts to all my family there checking on them.

Do you want to know the theme for each conversation we have? they ask how we are all doing, and initially I think of all the irritants of my day, and all the things I have gotten frustrated with, and then recall how HARD life is for ALL of them. and I reply in gratitude "we are ALL doing good, kids are healthy, Wes still has a job, and we are doing fine." Then I ask how they are, and how family members are. Inevitably it comes around to illness, several hospital trips for Malaria, and the many other fevers that accompany the rainy season. Then we move onto funerals, and who has passed on, which family member is now gone. Then finally they speak of the love they have for me, and the gratitude for the meager support I offer ($30 a month) and my heart sinks. Internally I grumble at the $400 I spend on groceries and I complain about the amount of work I must perform, and here they are deeply grateful for the pittance I have sent.

that is the jist of our conversations, many times they ask me if there is anything I can do to help THEIR neighbors (for they all know SOMEONE who is worse off then they) or they just say they wanted to hear my voice, and know when I would return.

I want to roam, wander, run free. I want to travel, if I could have my dream I would spend every other month traveling to Liberia.

But I know that is not realistic, and I know that my place is here, with my children, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my children.
and so I plant roots, I dig in, I cultivate happiness and joy in my every action. and I pray.
I pray for; Quita, Ameila, Divine, Annie, Leslie, Washington, Othneil, Jeremiah, Alice, Elijah, Nancy, Aretha, Lucy, Barry, Mary, Nya, each of them touching me in my heart.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The foundations of our future.

While I am deeply appreciative of the effort it takes to raise a child, I have also seen how the love of a child can induce mothers to do extraordinary things.

Divine's mother is very young, and very inexperienced. I wish there was more I could do than to simply send money for food. Trust me, I have wracked my brain and tired to come up with ANY solution to her poverty and education opportunities.

The decision is hers, and I fully support that her child NEEDS to remain with her.

What I can not help is the fact that the opportunities for growth, for stability and for health are very small.

I pray we can provide some of those basic needs.

I pray she and the 2 boys she is raising can remain safe and healthy.

I pray for wisdom to know what is next, and how I can move forward from here.

ANY funds you would like to send will be sent to Liberia to help Annie pay for food, school, medicine and living expenses.

thanks for your support.

Friday, April 05, 2013


I am not a patient person. I admit it is my weakness. I like to MOVE once a decision has been made, I LIKE ACTION!

January 20th we decided to adopt Divine.

We are still waiting on the "Pastor" who is his temporary guardian to initiate the paperwork. Divine *WAS* being taken care of by my friends, and all heck broke loose and we were forced to return him to the Pastor.

Now months have passed, and his promises of transfer of care have not happened.

I am so sad. I don't want to fight OVER this child (although I am willing to fight FOR this child!)

I have asked my Liberian contacts to HELP with this move,and once I have this done, it will only be a matter of weeks and we can finalize the adoption.

But for now, we wait on our funding.

We need only $3,000. a tiny portion compared to the last time! For that I am THRILLED.

But I am getting anxious, I want to be able to PUSH things to happen, but can't in good conscience until I have ALL my funds ready.

Please consider a small donation. $5 is all I ask of you my friends.

Share our video of Divine. and PRAY he will be safe until we can return for him!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's DONE!!! A year long adoption journey and weeks of work writing a book and preparing it for sale, all for this moment!

Thanks to the tireless efforts of my co-author and biggest cheerleader, Susan and Sasha, my ever present friend and editor, we are ready to launch Fast Adoption Fundraising!

This is the moment when we need you!

Have you heard of 'book bombs'? A book bomb is a marketing strategy that includes MANY people sharing the book, and promoting the book all at one time.

I have the Ebook completed, and the sales page is nearly done, in the next couple of days the link to the book will go live. I need YOU to help me out by blasting this email to all your friends, family, and e-mail list to build anticipation for the sale.

We are offering Fast Adoption Fundraising at a REALLY LOW price in the hopes that it will reach MANY who could use what is inside, including:
• A simple path to raising funds in a limited time frame.
• The ability to expand your pool of potential donors exponentially.
• The power to effectively explain your adoption dreams to others.
• The understanding to solicit donations without offending family, friends, and potential donors.
• The knowledge to leverage online and offline media to reach your goal.
• The confidence to organize supporters, volunteers, and events with ease.

This book will benefit families that are in the middle of thier adoption journey as well as families who feel they can only dream of adoption. Fast Adoption Fundraising will help every family create a simple fundraising plan customized to their specific circumstances. In the book, share our journey, tips for success, and the inside scoop of our own experience.

Please like and SHARE our FACEBOOK page by following this link.

Share the FB page(

SELLING this ebook is the LAST step in raising the funds to adopt Divine! We only need to sell 500 copies and Divine's adoption will be paid for!

THEN, ALL the funds will go directly to Borto Orphanage to FEED and CARE for over 40 orphans.

Thank you!

For anyone interested in FREE GIFTS- Share the email, make a unique blog post that links to the FACEBOOK page, and or BLOG about your involvement in our adoption journey, we will enter your name into a drawing for a FREE COPY!

Dee Gordon
Author of Fast Adoption Funds

Friday, March 15, 2013

Whole Hearted

Do you do things Whole-hearted? Do you IMMERSE yourself in project, or commit yourself to a goal to the point of 'no gong back' or do you step cautiously, and carefully into every commitment, weighing the in-out and possibly scenarios?

One is not better than the other, as some who spend time judging,gauging, weighing and preparing may find they are better equipped to deal with things as they come along.

But how much time should you commit to an idea before you are COMMITTED? before you realize your whole heart and soul are not going back?

Having a large family, homeschooling, home birthing, living a lifestyle that is full of compassion and charity, all of these need full commitment, no turning back, you can't commit to a large family, and then say, "oops, that was more than I bargained for, and a wee bit more work than I anticipated!" and go back and fix it!

No turning back.

Once you have seen and the Holy Spirit has moved upon your heart, you are convicted.

Take it however you may, but the choice is an individual one, and while, i may not choose to follow your same lifestyle or goals, and I can respect that you are your own individual. I can still Love You.

And you can understand that just because I am not the same as you, does not mean we are on opposite teams.
And just because you 'support' my projects does not mean I am asking you to financially support me, or them! One of the GREATEST ways you can SUPPORT me is in sharing the campaigns that I create or manage.

I have an overall goal to provide for the needs of many Liberian citizens, through agriculture, midwifery, enterprise, education, health opportunities and advocacy.

This may overwhelm YOU, and that is ok, I am not asking you to perform the necessary tasks to accomplish these goals, what I AM asking, is you have the compassion and desire to see OTHERS succeed and you SHARE, the videos, the links, the plans, the goals. Share with you friends, neighbors, your Doctor, your teachers, your students, share it with everyone you come across, because SOMEWHERE in your network is someone who WANTS to be a part of this project, and only through your kindness of sharing will we find one another!

Feel free to fill out the Volunteer form if your ready to commit (even if that means $5 per month and sharing one video)




you can fill it out online:

Volunteer Survey

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More than words?

It has been over a month since I last wrote. I apologize, and plead ALL the happenings have kept me occupied!

On February 16th 2013 Peter and I flew home to be reunited with our family!

What a triumphant time that was!

Then once we had rested and settled into our home routine (48 hours) we started looking back on the needs of our Liberian family, and the ways (big and small) that we could make a difference.

We are so blessed to have all that we enjoy, more food than 80% of the world population can ever fathom.
We have resources left over after all our necessities to peruse entertainment and pleasure.

Somehow all that was hard to swallow.

Somehow the little things that brought me great enjoyment before, now brought me sorrow.

I can no longer enjoy those little rituals, for the knowledge that if I gave up, just a little more, I would have enough left over to share, help, and lift those who had so little.

To put it in perspective, the annual tuition for a school age child is $80
The monthly costs to charge and use a cell phone (a vital need in Liberia) $30
Costs of taxi/shuttle transportation to get to work (if your lucky enough to have a job) $45

average monthly salary - $45-125

You can see just with this, how Up-side down these people are in their resources, I have not even mentioned food.

the food in Liberia is sold in such small quantities (.20 cents for a baggie of rice) and at first i could not understand/comprehend why this was?

Then when i saw those mothers going to the market or food stands any buying their daily provisions, I realized.

It took them all day long to find the means to buy $1 worth of food for their families.

And they had several mouths to feed. It is astounding what we all consider "NEEDS"

I am trying to be compassionate with out being judgmental.
I know this is my short coming, as I can not understand why OTHERS can not feel moved to do the same.

I am a work in progress, and I so appreciate ALL who have jumped onto my bandwagon and made THEIR sacrifices to help in any size, way or portion to help!

Friday, February 08, 2013

can we learn from reflection.....

February 8th 2013

More than a month as passed since I left my family and entered the unknown.
I have slept without my babies, my comforts for 6 weeks. I miss my children fiercely, but I know they are taken care of, fed, loved and safe. For this I thank my Heavenly Father and my earthly parents and in-laws.
When we counseled with our agency about the possible issues during the adoption, corruption was never mentioned. We never imagined the level of deceit that we would be faced. Living amongst the beautiful people of Liberia, I am starting to get it.
For almost 20 years these same faces had to run, hide and survive day to day with murder, war and starvation.
For more years than many of them lived in peace, they lived with the visual of children, mothers and fathers being slaughtered before their very eyes.

Some of the stories you hear make your stomach hurt. Some infuriate you, but if you listen, and try to have an understanding of what has shaped their character, their resolve and their future, you can understand how the grey area becomes so wide.
These beautiful people had to learn HOW to survive, beg, steal and borrow. They had no choice but to hide in the hills, to disguise their tiny babies in the bush, to dodge the bullets, machetes, and the rebels. The kinds of atrocities that occurred on a daily basis would change any person. NO matter how deeply convicted they started out.
I am by no means justifying their actions, and I do not plan to work with these people that do not know anything but lies and corruption, but I am beginning to understand. My heart is moved with compassion, pity for the men and women that came out after this terrible war with the views of right and wrong completely skewed.

Let us ALL evaluate what life experience we have that encourages the same.
What breeds mediocrity, laziness, and gluttony?

What is it in each of US that promotes the character traits that allow us to slide far from the man or woman we are destined to be, and become those that average efforts, and average rewards are ‘good enough’

Good enough is never enough, I beg you to consider to look into YOUR heart (as I gaze into mine) and grasp the qualities of Honest, Brave, Respectful, Hard working, Faithful, Integrity, Respect Charity, Obedience, Virtue, Courage, Honesty, Leadership, Accountability, Self control, Delayed gratification.

Where am I lacking, where can I improve. Where am I rationalizing my actions based upon my personal experience that is keeping me from attaining these qualities?

I had a powerful experience yesterday that once again reminded me that I am doing the Lord's work.
I am fighting a battle for a valiant spirit, that Heavenly Father Knows and Loves. Peter will grow up to be a great man a leader, and an honorable example.

I am blessed to be his mother.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Borto Orphanage- Donations

For those of you wanting to help with Borto Orphanage, here is the details I have worked out so far.

they have NO NGO's that support them, and the Missionaries that helped them organize and start the blog have returned home and stayed in contact, however have not kept up with the blog. I have asked to be allowed to update the blog, and the other 2 ladies who went with me, (Kelley & Kristi) are also willing to support the children in every way they can.

Donations of GOODS rather than money are WELCOME- we are working on 2 separate leads that have shipping containers scheduled to leave the midwest and arrive in Monrovia port.

These 2 containers are shipped via two individuals who ship frequently, and we hare hoping they will allow us some space for when we do find materials (Especially School supplies)

I have been looking into areas that sell the supplies to manufacture items here (specifically Aquapoinics) And for the most part I believe we can get these items in country. (Close to US prices, so long as a Liberian represents us in the purchase)

It is my sincere hope that many of YOU will plan a trip here to see the need, and to implement YOUR own program, for now, I am the only contact for the orphanage, and if you have concerns about the integrity of the donations, please let me know, i am working on a system of accountability to ensure your donation is used for EXACTLY what you intend.

The more people that come here to inspect and verify on their own, the more we will be assured our funds are being used appropriately.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I met this sweet tiny little guy the first visit to the Orphanage (they call it a foster home, and they run it well, but it is still for Orphans, and it is still bleak)

Divine was hiding off by himself, and Kristi in our group scooped him up, and he nuzzled into her.
I felt a pang of jealousy as I was smitten with him, and wished I had been able to snuggle with him.

Of course i enjoyed holding all the other special needs babies, and meeting all the people who had been a part of Peter's past.

but I could not get his face out of my mind.

We visited with the babies several times, and each time Kristi would pick up Divine, and claim him ;)

She even started talking about adopting him, I spoke up then, that if she was not able, I would love to step in.

Kristi spent time in serious prayer, and with a heavy heart knew that she was not able to adopt Divine at this time.

I waited until the evening to ask her if she was sure of her decision, and then shared with her my thoughts.
God Works in Mysterious Ways Slideshow: Deanna’s trip to Monrovia was created with TripAdvisor TripWow!
Between the two of us, we were captivated by this very timid, very tiny little boy.

Then I had to start campaigning to my husband. With all the government issues that were taking place, and all the uncertainty, he was not ready to have a conversation about more children. (At least not more $10,000 children)

It took a few days of scattered conversations before he realized I was serious.

We had late night conversations about the technicalities, and complications, then we had EARLY morning talks about the Path God has chosen For us.

It is undeniable that once you have walked with these children and fed, bathed, and prayed over these children, you can not go home at night without the feeling of responsibility. You NEED to help them, and all the luxuries of life loose their luster.

How can I NOT reach out to a child, a child that so desperately wants to be loved, held, protected.

How can i not?

So here I am. Willing and yet, unable to move forward. It will take $5,000 up front to begin the paperwork.


ing out on faith. again.
Praying for the loving support of our friends everywhere!

Friday, January 18, 2013

redundant & impotent

The story in Afirca is redundant. The need is astronomical, the poverty is gut-wrenching.
The majority of Africans are lucky if they get one meal each day.
They are accustomed to going without, of making do, of building from scratch. They take the wild grasses and sticks and make a hut, they take the fabric and make dresses (Called Lapa)

They are simple, and quiet people.
Most would be mortified if they knew you felt sorry for them.
Most would never ask you for anything, although they look at you longing and hope you can FEEL the pleading in their hungry eyes.
My morning started out with a vis

it to Al. he is the 7 year old boy that started having leg tremors and eventually lost his ability to walk. He has an enormous head, the Dr.’s have said it is a ‘brain infection’ so ambiguous. But honestly no one here has the technology (nor the power and knowledge) to do more than the very basic.
His mother asked me to help her save her son. He is loved, he is cared for, and he is slowly dying.
Next we visited a school in Coca Cola factory village, it is a neat little subdivision of homes that are cared for by people who CARE. They keep the lawns swept, and the yards clean, of the 150 homes, only 2 or 3 own a car. These are very simple humble people.
Quita my good friend has started a school in her neighborhood; she and her husband are the caregivers to many in need.
The school was organized, clean, and well run. The few books and supplies they did have fit onto one table less than 4 ft long.
The children all wear their uniforms and come HUNGRY to learn. They arise early in the morning, (most have never even heard of breakfast) and walk to the school, where their parents have paid $1300 Liberian dollars for tuition. They meet from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. when they get home, they clean the yard, house and do the laundry by hand, they begin the preparations for dinner, and then the nightly dinner dishes. This is their one meal each day. 6 o’clock.
The kids are cheerful, helpful, hardworking and appreciate affection and attention. The staff is loving, giving and dedicated. They have given everything to protect and serve God’s children.
Looking through this album is surreal to me.
I have touched their faces, I have held their hands, and I have honestly fallen in love. (with more than a few)
What can I do? I am only one person. I am NOT wealthy, influential or powerful. I am only me. A mother, a neighbor and friend.
One thing I cannot deny is regardless of the gross discrepancy between the needs and the resources. I will continue to be their voice. I will continue to pray for them, and I will hope that you will join me, in any way you can.
A master plan on the needs, and future of Borto Orphanage :
Finding a permanent location for the children and staff to live. (at the present they are squatters)
Find the funds for building the home and dormitory for the 41 children they presently have.
Encourage the Liberian government to LIFT the moratorium on adoptions.
Find the resources to bring sustainable food sources to the orphanage: including
Goat herd
Chicken flock
Some way to produce income in the country to provide for their ongoing needs.
Sponsors for the children’s school needs and daily meal.

Here are some items that are needed and their costs to purchase in country.
41 Mattresses $30 each
6 loads of zinc to roof finish the roof $150 each
One acre lot to purchase from the government $2,000
Salary for each person who works at the orphanage
House mistress $100 (x3)
Cooks $50 (x4)
Security Guards $50 (x4)

It can feel like a black hole of hopelessness.
Trust me. If I spend too much time thinking about that, I may give up.
But if we each take a little portion of the garden, and tend to it with our love and attention, it will matter to those we serve, no matter how small our plot is.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Accra, Ghana

We made a stop in Ghana when the Delta flight was canceled due to mechanical issues.

Needless to say, all 200+ passengers were scrambling and unhappy. Delta offered to put up everyone at local hotels, which were surprisingly nice.

I ended up bunking with wonderful Dr. Faith Lamb-Parker. She is brilliant, compassionate, and funny. We had a great time.

The day we arrived in Ghana was the day before their Inauguration of a new President.
The streets had colorful ribbons, and UN diplomat planes on the tarmac.

It was very exciting.

After Ghana, we arrived in Liberia. (My original arrival date was Jan 4th, I arrived on Jan 8th) I had lost my phone on the plane during our disembarkation in Accra. Every phone number I needed was on that phone, and I had no way to contact either the Hotel, nor the friendly Quita who was to pick me up and deliver me to the hotel.

Again, Dr. Faith to the rescue, she helped me file the paperwork for the lost bags, and then had her private driver deliver me to the hotel. (after we had to stop for diapers and water at the supermarket)

I finally arrived at Moko's around 7 pm. local time.

Peter and I were HUNGRY and anxious to get showered and fed.

Moko's staff was wonderful, they ordered us a pizza and brought it to the room.

Everyone here in Liberia is friendly, helpful and kind. I have been so blessed by the Agency staff, and by all I have met.
I do have to say; I already have 2 mosquito bites, and Peter & I are both feeling a bit under the weather. But we made it to the pharmacy yesterday and hopefully our meds will help us to feel better soon!

I wanted to make a list for anyone who is traveling here; things NOT to forget at home, because even though they have a super market, they do not stock things like we have at home.

Items we are missing:
Huggies Diapers (the diapers on the shelf here have plastic exterior and tape tabs)
SHOES my flip-flops have broken and I have not seen a great place to buy better shoes. (they have wheelbarrow carts selling shoes made from recycled tires, but i have worn those in the past and they can be uncomfortable)
American Clothes are a premium around here, you wont find an easy place to replace your lost luggage! (there are NO shops/malls here)
A good hamburger! (I ordered a burger yesterday, and honestly it reminded me of the scene in Les Mis during the song "Master of the House" if you get my drift?
the french fries were good, but Peters plate of Chicken & Rice was $13!!
For now that is all that I have compiled on the list, mostly because I figure, we can live without anything else. I have not even tried to find a swim suit, as that was also lost in the luggage, but I suppose I can swim in my leggings and tee shirt.

Friday, January 04, 2013

New York, New York 2013

Our unplanned visit to NYC has been an adventure! The tickets to get to Liberia today were ONLY routed through Ghana, and I do not have a visa for Ghana, therefore I would not be able to fly there. Lame. So we made the best of a batch of sour milk! Peter and I checked back into our hotel room (that we checked out of 4 hours earlier) We charged up the cel phone, and hit the streets of NYC. Our shuttle driver (Henry) was AWESOME. He told me which train to ride, and where to get off, told me how to find yummy food.... New Yorkers have a reputation.... Let's just say the newspaper vendors can be RUDE. (one hawking papers sounded JUST like Rosie O'donnel...with attitude) any Who.... the NYPD are GREAT, and the professionals I have met with are some of the nicest folks I have ever met, Delta ticketing agents (known for ATTITUDE!) were SUPER kind and helpful!!

Unplanned visit to 9/11 memorial

As Peter & were delayed at FJK airport, we decided to go on an adventure! We hiked to the subway (yeah!) and walked to the 9/11 memorial site. We were going on less than 3 hours of sleep, so we honestly did not take much time, just walked through the 16 security check-points, looked into the 2 vast water falls, and then scuttled our way back towards the subway. i had to carry Peter almost half way, as even HE ran out of energy! (hard to believe!)