I’m here…

I’m here.

There has been so much going on, yet somehow I have nothing to say. Several people have encouraged me to continue with my writing and I really have intended to.

Tim and I have been fortunate to both be offered jobs with out previous employers just one week after arriving back in the United States. It’s odd…to be back at the same job. It kinda feels like the whole “moving to Africa thing” never happened.

But it did. It really did and I am changed forever.



We’ve been home three weeks.

In that time, we’ve both started full-time jobs, moved into our apartment, bought a car, bought a couch, bought a mattress, joined a small group in our church …It’s been a little busy…Liberia feels a world away.

People ask how it feels to be back.

It’s feels amazing! It feels weird. It feels normal. It feels odd.

I feel relieved. I feel uncertain.

I find myself mostly in a brighter mood these days. The thought that often comes is “I’m SO glad we went, but am SO glad to be back” I feel a deep sense of relief just being home.

There are moments…like today when I was standing at a cosmetics counter at Southdale talking to a retailer about hand lotion and she started going on about the critical importance of using the correct type of make-up brush for applying eye shadow. Moments like that inevitably cause me to cock my head and wonder, “Important? Critical?”

I mean, I know she’s just doing her job and probably working on commission, but still…Really? Somehow the $38, “cruelty free” brush just isn’t doing it for me. All, I can think about is how far that money would go in the hands of a Liberian.

I politely declined and walked away…feeling again a bit lost, a bit confused about why I get to live here while the Liberians live there.

I just don’t get it.



Happy Valentines, big guy!

Last year, on Tim’s birthday, I published this post so those of you who don’t know him could get a better idea of the amazing guy I get to call “husband”. On this Valentine’s Day, I am again reminded of the extraordinary gift he is in my life. I do  not deserve him. And after coming through the challenges of this last year together, I am more impressed with him than ever. Is there anything this guy can’t do? Well…besides remembering where the glasses go in the kitchen cupboard or to how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, but that’s ok, because I am an expert at both those things.

Here, once again, is what I have to say about Tim…

Since the day I met Tim, he has shown me a whole new facet to my existence and it changed everything. He brings color to the mosaic of my life.

For those of you who know Tim, I needn’t go on about how awesome he is. BUT, for those of you less fortunate, I will take this opportunity share my favorite things about him.

He has a lively hankering for adventure

He makes me laugh all the time.

He has the knack for correctly anticipating a twist in big and small happenings.

He has quick blue eyes that are always scanning the horizon in hopes of spotting a deer or other would-be prey


He’s just a happy guy

He is patient

He is brave and pushes me into prickly situations that I initially hate, but am thankful for later.

He reminds me of my dad in that he can figure out or do anything.

He reminds me of his dad in that he has a wealth of knowledge that is constantly growing…guess I scored the best of both worlds.

BUT mostly, Tim loves me so well. I don’t have the words to express how thankful I am and how blessed I feel. I love you more than anything, Tim!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Tim!

A Jaunt in Monrovia

Monrovia has a completely different feel from “the bush”

It’s loud,





and people seem hacked off and distrustful of everyone else

But somehow, this grubby city has earned a small piece of my heart and I think I might sorta miss it.

The plantain,

the fresh coconut water,

the beach,

the laughs,

the mangoes,

the  little friends,

the big friends,

Each memory, good and bad, is precious. I can’t believe it’s over.

And that’s a wrap, folks!

So long, Liberia…

Lil’ Kede

I can’t believe that this little guy lived his first 5 years only 6 miles from the beach, but had never seen it…

…until now

Tim and I wanted to treat our little buddies to a fun day last weekend. It might be one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

He wasn’t quite sure at first…

I think the noise of the roaring water freaked him out a little…

And the strong waves knocking him over repeatedly…

But as time went on, he became more and more sure of himself

And by the end of the afternoon was jumping, splashing and laughing his little heart out.

I just wish I could fold him up into my luggage and bring him home…BUT I’m pretty sure that’s illegal and perhaps not a great idea.

Sigh…I sure will miss them, though.

A week from now

One week…ONE! It’s crazy how time flies. Our year in Liberia is coming to an end and we’ve decided not to sign on for another contract or assignment with SFL. It’s time to go home.

I’m nervous, eager, a little sad…but, mostly excited.

Excited to see my awesome family and my silly friends. Sad to say good-bye to the precious people we’ve met on this journey. Nervous about the future, yet eager to see it unfold. I’m really not sure what is next for us. There are so many unknowns.

So…I guess, it’s a good opportunity for me to exercise trust in the One who holds my life in the palm of His hand, right? I appreciate your prayers as we close this chapter (or book) and start in on the next one. I’ll keep you posted…

Your prayers, your encouraging words and your support have been hugely instrumental in carrying us through the challenges of this last year. Thank you!!

A Walk in Zwedru

My last day in Zwedru…or “the bush”. So, I decided to take a stroll and capture a bit of the local scene that has become so familiar.

Even after living here for one year, these mud huts still blow my mind

The vast majority of homes (aka mud huts) do not have running water. Rather there are pumps set up around the community where people can come to collect their water

Like many children, this girl is unable to attend school because her family does not have the money to send her. Rather, she spends her days wandering through town selling food from her bucket

Same with this girl selling water bags

The Zwedru Market Center

A market lady roasting and selling plantain

Selling palm nuts

Meat Market-Even more disturbing is the pile of…something behind the deer head

Hairy deer leg anyone? (The deer are shorter here)

Motorbike taxi drivers. They look mad, but they wanted me to take their picture…honest

The kids are way easier to capture…and a little less intimidating

Isn't she sweet?

This lady was hilarious. When I asked to take her picture, she stripped off her shirt and exposed her drooping chest. I think she thought I was looking for the all naturale’ Africa.

I love her cute white hair

The communal rice bowl

And that’s it. Good-bye, Zwedru!