Friday, April 24, 2009

The Long Trip Home

The United flight from Washington landed at Brussels International Airport. I had a six hour layover after eight hours of flight time. I boarded the flight at 12:45pm Brussels time; hoping to depart at 1pm. Unfortunately, there was mechanical problem that caused the flight to depart at 2:30pm. After seven hours, the flight landed in Abidjan, the Ivory Coast to drop off and pick off passengers.
As the flight landed in the Ivory Coast, it brought back vivid memories, knowing that Abidjan was the last city I lived in as a refugee before traveling to the USA for studies. Now I was departing Abidjan to Liberia on a jet, not on foot, as I did when I entered the Ivory Coast seeking refuge. On the flight, I was not interrogated, harassed, beaten, tied, humiliated, as it was done to me by rebels forces when I entered the Ivory Coast from Liberia as a refugee. Instead, I was sitting comfortably on a 747 jet from Abidjan to Liberia. As I thought about my return deeply, there was nothing I could do, but rather close my eyes tightly as I held to my seat, and silently screamed in my belly, in my head, through my feet, in fact through my entire being. As I sat there for 30 min reminiscing, I slowly opened my eyes to a new self, knowing full well that I was a new person – and more importantly someone with a formal education to help build a peaceful Liberia.
As I ponder on those hopeless days in the refugee camps, in search of food to eat and a place to sleep, it reinvigorates my strength and gives me hope to know what a blessings it is for me, to give of myself in search of genuine and lasting peace for Liberia. Those experiences in various refugee camps across West Africa were ones that I strongly hope the future generations of Liberia will not encounter- or any children of the world.
At 10:30pm Liberian time, the airline crew announced that the flight will be landing in 20 minutes. I kept my eyes opened looking through the windows, thinking about those beautiful landing at nights in Washington DC, Tampa, New York, or Chicago. It was not so, there were few lights here and there, except for the airport.
I got my luggage and headed for a place I will call home for a long time. I arrived at the house that I am renting which is in complete darkness (no electricity). For the first time, in a long time, I was going back to live in darkness. My cousins and sister helped me placed my things in my room. We talked for few hours discussing life in America and Liberia. Then I proceeded to the bathroom to take a shower, where I do not have a basin or bathtub, because I cannot afford the funds to individually bring a private sewer system to my home.
In the bathroom, I put my bath water into the bucket and used my hands to dip the water from the bucket onto my body. I slept safe and sound that night. I woke up the next morning realizing that I was finally home when I could not switch on my cable television. Notwithstanding, I strongly hope that by planting the seeds of peace now, “Liberia Will Harvest a Peaceful Tomorrow”. This is a fact!!! This is what I believe!!! Please help me make this a reality.

1 comment:

  1. Ebenezer! I know it has been a while since we have last spoken, but I came across your post on the SIS Listserv and was amazed to see that it was you! It feels like so recently when we were in Indianapolis at NCUR and we went to the Bulls-Pacers game. That was a great time! I am very proud of you and what you are doing. I wish you all the best in your endeavors. I am sure you WILL make a change in the lives of many Liberians and others.

    I also have a blog on blogspot for my music. If you are interested, it is

    Take care!!