Saturday, June 21, 2008

Waiting for the interns to arrive

The idea was for Scott and I to come to Sierra Leone before the six college students so we could be prepared to lead them once they got here – instead of being just as confused, tired and overwhelmed as they will be (and as we once were) when they finally arrive. The plan has worked quite nicely for us – we flew in the same day as a short-term team that’s staying for about two weeks. They are a team of six teachers (all in their 20s) who have been doing seminars and co-teaching sessions with the COTN school teachers here in Sierra Leone – to train them in better teaching techniques.

Scott and I have been able to hang low and take everything about the country and culture in. We’ve gotten used to the four-hour time difference and the bucket baths, the sudden rainstorms and the rhythm of the Krio language. The heat, however, continues to still amaze and surprise us – especially because there’s no getting away from it. We have caught up on our sleep and et lag and have had some good bonding time with the local, national staff and the international staff that’s here – Arlene who is transitioning into the role of Sierra Leone liaison for COTN who I think might just be a white Sierra Leonean herself. She’s been with COTN working with and traveling to Sierra Leone for 11 years – since its start. She’s experienced the war, was flown out when the rebels took over Freetown and some of her dearest friends are national people. Watching her here in this culture you can se that she’s in her element – she’s home. Dave Spoon is the international staff member who is taking Arlene’s previous job of Sierra Leone Intern Coordinator. He’s learning, along with us, as much as he is able to soak in to his brain, heart and body about this country, its people and it culture. So, we learn together, which is good since we will work closely with these two in our time here.

The two weeks at first seemed a bit excessive to be here prior to the interns’ scheduled arrival, however the time has passed very quickly and has been much needed. We have sat back and watched how things are done, had impromptu meetings and planned ones to discuss summer camp, summer school, village ministry, personal projects, writing and photo needs. We’ve had the opportunity to ask Arlene every questions we can think from scheduling to cultural tabors. And we’ve had time to enjoy the people and moments around us without feeling rushed to photograph, write or abide to a strict schedule or check-off list. It has been quite nice and especially after the meeting today, we’re beginning to feel more confident and prepared for these six interns – their arrival, the work they will do and how exactly we will lead them here in Africa. I’m expecting, however, that the more scheduled day and the leadership role that we’ll automatically jump into will take a moment to get used to. But, that is what we came fro and that is what we look forward to. We wait, excited to see what God will do.


Sara C. said...

Hi Friend! Sounds like you are adjusting well. Especially liked your first post about the plane ride with Koi, it was very well told.
Good luck with the arrival of the interns, and we miss you here!

emily remington said...

Love the photos of you and Scott with the precious kids- you guys are amazing! thinking of you and praying for you both. much love, marker

Sarita F. said...

Hey Laura-
Sounds amazing. I also got used to the bucket baths in Peru, but can't tell you how much I enjoyed going home to Lima with it's running water and long hot showers. Sounds like you're doing amazing work. I'm so proud of you! So glad we can share in this adventure through your beautifully written posts.

Gabe & Anna said...

Hi Scott and Laura! We love you guys so much and are so supportive and excited of your adventures in Africa. You are in our hearts and prayers everyday!
Love, Gabe & Anna

Kat said...

There's our girl! We miss you here, but we're excited for you and your new endeavor. I've been reading and following up on your blog and it's all incredibly fascinating! God is bound to do some amazing things in Sierra Leone, and you are blessed to be part of that experience.

Many hugs and prayers to you and Scott!

p.s. I love the pics of you and Scott. Keep 'em comin', sis!



julie said...

Laura, Congrats on your new journey and I love reading your posts. So exciting and rewarding. Keep up the good work...

Nicole said...

Laura and Scott,

So good to read about Sierra Leone from your perspective. Your team is blessed to have you as their leaders, and I can't wait to continue reading about God's work there. Keep up the contributions!

Hug those kids for me,

Carissa Lynn said...

Hey guys! I am missing my dear Sierra Leone and am sad to be back in America. Hope all is going well with the interns, I look forward to hearing about your adventures. In Christ, Carissa

Anonymous said...

Miss Laura! I had no clue you were headed to Sierra Leone. I wish you and Scott the best. If you have time, shoot me an e-mail: I miss you tons.
Sarah Langbein

pink is the new black said...

Laura! It's Angie Lindbloom! I've put you on my blog too so I can check up on y'all all the time and know how to pray!! Sooo good to see your face in these pictures...Scott is CUTE! Good job girl! Hope you are well...thank you for including me in your adventures and ministries!