Sunday, October 4, 2009

Here goes....

So, the blog begins. Here marks my maiden voyage into the Land of Blog. This is new, unknown territory for me and the learning curve is steep. What motivates me to begin a blog is my upcoming trip to the Bromley School for Girls in Liberia, West Africa. Let's start with that and see where this takes me. If anywhere.

Inspired by a woman in my church passionate for All Things Bromley, I find myself preparing to travel to a country recovering from a horrific civil war. If you know me well, you know that I am not a risk taker when it comes to my personal safety. My mother-in-law captured my philosophy of putting one's self in situations which could compromise one's well being several years ago. It's called the Moses Rose Society. The legend of Moses Rose, for those of you who do not know, goes something like this: You're at the Alamo. Pretty soon, it's clear you will die. The line in the sand is drawn. You have a nanosecond to make the choice to run away and live or stay and face a certain death. Well, you guessed it, Moses Rose apparently flew the coop. My MIL and her friends had a little "group" called the Moses Rose Society. Cowards of the World Unite. Count me in.

So why am I preparing to go to Africa armed with malaria pills, DEET, my yellow card stating I have received injections for Yellow Fever, encephalitis, typhoid, typhus, and God knows what else? Because there are these children in this school in this place who are the future of this country. Because there are these teachers who have spent most of their adult lives surviving unspeakable violence. Teachers who have next to nothing and are committed to Educating The Girl Child.

It also helps that the All Things Bromley Woman has been there several times in the past couple of years. A youth group has gone to help install solar panels to bring electricity to one of the buildings on the school compound. So, come on, if the teenagers can, so can I.

Liberia is working hard to rebuild their country. The reports I have read indicate that things are improving in Liberia. An entire infrastructure was destroyed and needs to be rebuilt. I can't speak to the war and efforts to reconcile because I only know what little I have read. I do know that the country is healing and focused on moving forward. While it is easy to dwell on the atrocities that occurred during the war, I choose to focus on their efforts to rise above the tragedies of the past. I'm keeping my eyes on the Phoenix.

So, I prepare to go to a place that drop kicks me well beyond my comfort zone. I have scrimped, begged, and raised the funds to get me there. I am thrilled to be going with such a wonderful team - three retired principals of local schools, one wonderful priest, an artist and art teacher extraordinare, All Things Bromley woman, storyteller friend, doctor, and team builder.

We go to provide teachers with staff development in instructional practices to support critical thinking and communication through oral and written language and the visual arts. I think we have a lot to give. I know we will receive much, much more than that.

I pray to my Christ, let my transformation begin.

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