Well, it has been a month now that we have been in Mokanji, Sierra Leone. What have we been doing this last month? We have mostly been getting adjusted and getting paperwork and other official stuff handled. Unfortunately, most things in Sierra Leone do not go very quickly or smoothly. There is protocol to be followed and official channels to take. For instance, our vehicle: We had some small issues with bank transfers and while we have bought the vehicle, it is still in Freetown getting paperwork and insurance stuff completed. Even when we do have possession, we won’t be able to drive it yet. We filed the paperwork for our driver’s licenses, but need to wait until we get our residency permits until we get to travel back to Freetown to get our driver’s licenses. Our residency permits may take another couple of weeks. This would make our third trip to Freetown in about a month and a half! While some people would think that Freetown would be a nice getaway for us, it really is not. It is at least a 4 ½ hour trip between Mokanji and Freetown and it is not an easy drive. Then once we are in Freetown the kids get shuttled around as we try to get as much accomplished as possible. No fun for kids or parents!
Life in Mokanji has been great so far. Our house is very nice and we have the amenities of gravity-fed running water and solar power. We are sparsely furnished for now and the clothes are still in suitcases; I am looking forward to getting the local carpenter to make us some shelves for our clothes and books and toys so that we can be a little more organized and settled.
The kids are adjusting well and enjoying all the outdoor time playing with all the local kids and even learning some of the Mende language. Sofia can even do a basic greeting and good bye in Mende; the locals get a real laugh out of it! Sandy is doing well and feeling just fine with her pregnancy. She is more than half way done and she and Jeneson are looking forward to meeting this baby girl the beginning of July. The people are warm and friendly and are looking forward to us really starting clinic. Almost every day ladies and kids with baskets carefully balanced on their heads stop by the house to sell local treats made from groundnuts (peanuts) and sesame seeds, various fruits, biscuits and muffins and other wares. Mango season is just around the corner and we cannot wait for all the mangos to ripen!
We are currently in the process of inventorying the various medical supplies that have been donated and arrived at different times during the past 2 years to see what we have and what we need. We are also starting to talk with the local Community Health Officer and 2 nurses who currently work at the government health outpost in Mokanji. We are trying to formulate how we can work in conjunction with them and with the government and not duplicate services or take over what they are already doing. It will be a delicate process, so please pray for us as we navigate and formulate our relationship with them.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support that helped to get us here after almost 2 ½ years of praying, planning, and preparing. Please continue to pray for us as we settle in here, get all our necessary paperwork done, and start providing healthcare in the Mokanji area. We would love to hear from you by e-mail and keep up with our latest and see some pictures by following our blog: www.abrahamadventures.blogspot.com
Jeneson, Sandy, Josiah, Lydia, Sofia, and baby girl