I dedicated this weekend to PACKING.  Yesterday, I hung the clothes I’m taking out on the clothesline, and then sprayed them with Permethrin (bug repellent) in the frigid cold.  As you can see, fashion for Liberian travel consists of jeans, long and short-sleeved tops, plus a couple dresses that I didn’t spray…to wear out to dinner and to any government buildings we visit.  I even planned the outfit I would wear if (big IF) we happened to run into Madame President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf — the first woman president in all of Africa.  Dream big, right? MacDella has met her a few times already.

Now, in case you were curious, here are the guts of my suitcase.

my suitcase

Top left: My plug adapter (so I can hook up my laptop!) and Starbursts for the kids on the streets/orphanages…there are also some candy canes buried under there. Top right: Presents for older girls in the orphanage and MacDella’s foster kids, Belle, Leila, and Haja, who you heard about in an earlier post.  Special thanks to Rachael, beauty editor of Seventeen, for donating the hair accessories, lip glosses, and body shimmer! There are some gift-wrapped Barbies under there too.

Bottom left: My clothes…and bathing suit. MacDella is taking us to the beach! (Liberia is on the West Coast of Africa.) It is 90 degrees and sunny in Monrovia.  Bottom right: Towels, on top of the bed net Donna Dees gave me to distribute, on top of an emergency stash of PopTarts and Chewy granola bars.

Next up: packing the carry-on with my lifelines: laptop, digital camera, Flip video camera, and, most importantly, anti-malarial pills.