Thursday, January 31, 2013


Several more to take home with me:

* I was distracted by a conversation with the woodcarver when Little Aggie decided to wander off.  I spent a couple frantic minutes trying to find him.  Finally, I saw him walking toward me followed by an old African woman who promptly spanked him and returned him to me with an explanation (in French and a few hand motions) that he had wandered up the road.  I loved it.  It meant we are officially part of the neighborhood. 

*  We drove four hours into Guinea to a town named Boke'.  There, the kids and I entered an underground cell where slave traders once held their captives until it was time to ship them away.  Then we walked in a trench that had been their pathway down to the river where a boat awaited to take them from their home.  With every step I was overwhelmed with the reality that the people I love, ripped from their homes and their lives, once walked over this same unsteady ground.  I was walking the path led by beautiful, old African women who waved branches while they sang and danced their way ahead of me. But they would have walked this in chains and hunger and pain.  The trench weaved through heavy woods and eventually the trees cleared where I could see the river.  I thought about how terrifying the first glimpse of the river must have been for them.  In a few minutes I would turn around and walk back up the trench and go home. It was a one way trip for them.  I was grieved at the depravity of humanity who could destroy his brother.  I was grateful for the GOD-HUMAN who came to rescue us from such depravity. The GOD who didn't come to make slaves, but to free them.

* A few days ago, I left my house in such a hurry to retrieve my kids from a neighbor's house that I left my shoes behind.  My guard was watching us next door and noticing I had no shoes, took off his own and gave them to me while he walked home barefoot.

*  When I got home yesterday,  my girls told me they'd had a tea party with the highest of society--our cook and our housekeeper.  <3

*  This last souvenir will go without a name.  It is the gift of all the stories that moved me deeply but I am unable to share.  It didn't feel right to go without acknowledging their existence at all. So I leave it simply at this--sometimes it is the things we cannot speak of that say the most in our lives.

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