Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Road to Garmai's

Yesterday, I actually made it to an orphanage.
We went over to assess Garmai's orphanage. She has about 30 children in her home. Jen needed to check out the land for capacity building availability and I wanted to have a look at the kids. We are limited on vehicles right now and 5 of us were going so we, in typical ORR fashion, crammed into our little truck (affectionately called the Tata). Andrew, Jen and Willemina (our brand new team member working with Jen on CP stuff) were in front, Ashley and I were in the back under the cap sitting on buckets. It started to rain just as we were leaving, but we were not too worried about it because the orphanage is not too far from here. While we were bumping along on the way there, Ashley and I were minding our own business, in conversation on our buckets in the back when all of a sudden we were flying through the air. I honestly saw Ashley fly superman style across from me while I some how went from sitting on my bucket vertically to sitting on it horizontally. Apparently, Andrew was trying to find the best way across a drop off corner and at one point we were on 2 wheels. We survived however after a few screeches and a little bit more dirty but in one piece and arrived at the orphanage home a few minutes later.
Of course by the time we reached Garmai's there was a full Liberian style downpour going on. We were there a short time, many of the kids were still in school and with the rain Jen could not really get a look at the land.
So we headed off to our next orphanage, which I will tell you now, we never made it too. To spare Ashley and I (who had resumed our positions on the buckets) the excitement of another drop off experience, Andrew decided to go back a different way. (Not always a good idea on a rainy day in Liberia.) A few minutes into our journey we got stuck in a humongous puddle. It took Andrew and several helpful Liberians to get us unstuck while the rest of us stood by and watched in the rain (I am already thankful for that REI rain coat I bought on clearance before I left). After tipping the helpful Liberians we were back on the road. Ashley had her video camera and decided to document our rainy day Liberian road adventure.
(This is the point where I would like to show you the video, but we have been having problems uploading videos and so instead I will point you towards Ashley's blog, "Love in Liberia", to see it. The link is on my blog page. Please check it out we have watched it at least 20 times and laugh til we are crying every time.)
About 30 seconds after we were bouncing along road again we found ourselves flying through the air - again. This time Ashley had the video going. I laughed and screamed and found myself lying on the sandy truck bed while Ashley fought to keep control of the camera. This time we hit a rock while trying to maneuver another huge puddle and jammed it up underneath the bottom of the Tata. There were no helpful Liberians around this time. Andrew, with the help of a 2x4 he found and after fighting some dogs for his life, was able to use the jack to lift the truck off the rock and we were actually able to make it back to the main road and home.

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