After I blogged, we drove to the Children’s Rescue Mission orphanage, which is where my favorite kids from the Christmas party are from (like Prince!). MacDella brought the extra shoes to swap sizes with the kids who got pairs that were too big or too small. Here’s Mapu with her shoes:
As soon as we stepped out of the SUV, the kids came running to give MacDella and us hugs. They weren’t as clean as they were on Christmas or dressed as nicely, but they were still so happy. I pulled out my bottles of bubbles, a tip Brandon gave me, and they were totally enthralled!
Prince and his friends gave us a tour of the orphanage, starting out back at the pig pens. I asked them why that one pig in the back was stuck in a hole, and they said because his back legs were broken. 😦
Then we saw some of the fields where greens and cabbage grow. Next, they took us to their dining hall, where we saw the girls preparing lunch, which was a plate of rice with a bean soup over it. The boys introduced us to the three cutest puppies I’ve ever seen, truly — here’s our guide with one of them.
On the other side of the orphanage, they showed us another field and pointed down the long path they follow to get to school.
When we left the Children’s Rescue Mission, the kids started asking me to write down my e-mail and phone number. I knew the didn’t have Internet or a computer at the orphanage, but I wrote it down for them anyway. Who knows, maybe they’ll save it and write to me someday from college. MCF sure puts them on that road.
We stopped at some shacks along DuPort Road, where MCF runs a project to send children to school. I noticed many of the kids had white powder all over their faces and I didn’t know why. MacDella said it’s because rocks are the main industry in this area of Monrovia, and the kids have to help their parents grind them to sell.
We stopped at the school these children attend and met the principal. He showed us the library, which seemed to be a source of pride for the school. He said that he had blueprints for an expansion to the library. When MacDella went inside, she picked up a book and said, “I remember this book from when I was in school!” That tells you a lot. MacDella’s not that old, but back in the States, kids don’t even use the same textbooks that I did in elementary school.
At night, MacDella took us to dinner with Patrice, the former Miss Liberia, at the Royal Hotel. Later on, MacDella’s friend joined us and he was telling us how so much needs to be rebuilt in Liberia. In the midst of the conversation, the lights went out and the restaurant was pitch black. A fitting reminder that Liberia still is on generators and has a long way to go.