Amidst All The Chaos, There Is Beauty In Sierra Leone

As we approached the shores of Sierra Leone I was filled with chills!
Our flight was cool but it wasn’t that cold. As I looked at the houses
scattered across the mountains I had goosebumps simply anticipating
what we were getting ready to do for the mothers and infants in Bo.
The whole thing is still surreal to me. 

 

Upon arrival we soon learned that the detailed itenary that we had
devised would simply serve as a slight guide. There really isn’t any
planning in Sierra Leone. You kind of just have to go with the flow of
things. This was extremely frustrating at times but remembering why we
were there brought me back to sanity.

An emotional rollercoaster is the only way that I can describe our
mission trip! When the arrival of our shipment’s date was pushed back on
more than one occasion, I wasn’t scared but I was a tad bit on edge.
Without those birthing kits and incentive packages our trip would’ve
been in vain so I’m sure it is understood where the edge comes from. However, when
we received word that the supplies were in town and ready for pickup my morale
sky rocketed!

On the day that we formally presented those birthing kits and
incentive packages to the hospital staff and mothers in Bo Government
Hospital I broke down and I blame the matron for my running mascara (lol). The
matron, Josephine Tucker, delivered a short but heartfelt speech on
the impact that we would be leaving not only in Sierra Leone but
amongst the diaspora. When she started to express her appreciation,
she herself began to cry. It was beautiful.

In that moment I realized that while the people of Sierra Leone
endured a 10 year civil war, to this day they’re still trying to
recover from that turmoil. There isn’t a person there that isn’t
trying to better themselves. However recovery isn’t something that
they can do all by themselves, they need help from others to a certain
extent.

The matron ended her speech by referencing a familiar quote, “Give a
man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you
have fed him for a lifetime.” I found beauty in the fact that these
people didn’t simply want things handed to them, they were eager to
learn how to maintain the predicted successes of the birthing kits. If
that thought alone is there, they’re on the right path and with
assistance they can achieve their goal of granting women a better
birthing experience.

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