I watched as we flew over Ghana, then the Ivory Coast then Liberia. I was becoming very impatient to land in Liberia. The trip had been a long one and I was just ready to get on with our visit and plans! Mark took pictures of the airport upon our landing and the pilot welcomed us into Liberia. Everyone clapped again upon landing and we were very excited! What I didn’t know was this was only the beginning of many adventures during the next two weeks.
Everyone began disembarking the plane once it was stopped and the pilot let us go but we sat there until everyone was gone. I was thankful because I figured the time getting through the airport and picking up our luggage was going to be an interesting time of it. I remembered what Mark had said happened to him so I once again prayed silently, ‘Lord, help us through this time to be able to get all our luggage. Please let us not have lost anything because each piece has something in it for someone in particular!’ As we were the last ones off, the pilot offered to take a picture of us with the name of the airport behind us.
Now, I need to stop here for a moment and do some explaining because it’s so hard to explain it all without giving some background. As we were stepping out of the airplane (it was in the middle of the road instead of being right up against the terminal like we would see it in the states) there were many Liberians standing on the steps of the plane. Each person was there to help someone in hopes of making a little bit of money. Someone asked me if I needed any help and I responded with, “No, thanks, I am with them!” and pointed to Mark and The Jerry. At first, it looked like someone was going to try grabbing the backpack I had on to help but I hoisted it closer to me and that person seemed to realize that I was not giving up the backpack! It was important for us to keep those backpacks as they were full of things, to include netbooks, that were going to the pastors! I was NOT about to give up mine. I moved closer to Mark and stood resolutely with him. He had been here before and seemed to know more of what he was doing then either Jerry or I, so I decided it was important for me to stick to his side! No one was going to send me away without some kind of a fight! LOL! Everyone parted and let us through. We walked towards the airport and The Pilgrim took a couple of photos of the plane.
We noticed a sign as we were waiting in line that said something about illegal actors were not allowed into the country. We decided that it was talking about actors from Hollywood! We did get a laugh out of that and Jerry asked a couple of security people if he could get a picture. They were nice enough but told him no that pictures were NOT allowed to be taken inside the airport…not until he was outside on the other side! Oh well…it would have been a cool picture to have!
Next it was time to get our luggage! This was amazing to me and I decided that I would just live in the moment with the newness of everything. It was so much hotter inside then it was out. People were milling around at the luggage carousel and further out. The mass of bodies seemed to take my breath away because I would never have conceived the idea that that many people could actually fit in the building and not completely run each other over. I was asked to wait with the backpacks of Mark and Jerry’s which was fine with me! I stood off by the wall but eventually Mark was able to find a trolley to set our stuff on and I stood by it to make sure nobody took of with it. I ended up moving closer to them so they could off-load our luggage onto it quicker instead of having to traipse so far away from the carousel. I moved closer but no matter where I stood, someone wanted to be there. I spent most of my time moving back and forth. The different languages assaulted my ears along with, “Excuse me, mum!” and looks that told me I was in the way and what in the world was I doing just standing there.
I set myself in one section as resolutely as I could so that I could be as close to my husband as possible. I watched the team of people that had come to visit Liberia and saw from their actions that most of them had been there before as they seemed to know exactly what they were doing. I watched Mark and Jerry trying to find the luggage and wondered what in the world had happened to it. They kept looking and eventually found one piece then another and another. The problem was that there ended up being 2 pieces they couldn’t find. The man with us wondered what happened to it but he wasn’t the only one wondering! I began seriously considering the fact that someone had taken off with them after all. Suddenly Mark pulled one off and brought it over.
“Is this the last one?” I asked anxiously. He shook his head no and said that The Pilgrim couldn’t find his other one. I began praying again because I knew he had quite a bit in his that was to go to the pastors, as well. Finally! The luggage was found and we were ready to go. By that time, the room had cleared out quite a bit and was at a manageable level for humans, ok at a manageable level for this human! Hahaha!