Monday, March 21, 2011

Above and Beyond!

This week we will be hosting the "All Liberia Festival"-Franklin Graham our CEO (Billy Graham's son) will be speaking on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at the soccer stadium-it is going to be great!  Words cannot describe the busy hum of our office-and all the work that has been done and still needs to be done!  It has been amazing to see all of our staff going above and beyond the call of duty to get things done-simply amazing.  We have our WASH program manager, Taya, and our intern, Danielle, overseeing the decoration of the stage-Joni is busy with broadcast teams and will be photographing the festival-and has made numerous trips to the airport with me-Suzie, Justin and others are going to be clowns for the children's festival on Saturday morning-and the list goes on... 

When I was up country earlier this month, we stayed over night in Sorlumba to visit the CLP program and meet some of the inspirational women of the program. These ladies go above and beyond EVERYDAY. Seriously, every hot, humid, rainy day-even when they are sick-even when there is kids to take care of. They are some of the strongest women I have met! The CLP classes in Sorlumba have organized themselves into two soccer teams-the day we came we had an opportunity to play with them!  WOOOHOO-I hadn't played soccer since Grade 10-Shuswap Ramettes!  The media crew rigged me up with the go pro camera...(all pcitures from Joni;)

Ready to play with my Gopro camera!

The game went great and it was so much fun!  Many of ladies play in their bare feet...yes you read that right-and if you look at the above picture you can see that the soccer field is not exactly green, even grass!  I had shoes on-I know, I am a wimp-I will be posting a highlight of the game soon, let's just say it was legendary!

After the game everyone took a bucket bath-cleaned up-including yours truly, and headed to the CLP classes. As I sat in the back listening to the teacher-I scanned the room and noticed how many young women had their little babies with them-on a bundle on their back or had their babies sleeping on a mat next to them.  They are mothers-they are also students-being a mom is a full time job-all you mom's know that!  Being a CLP student is a great opportunity for these mom's to learn so that they can help their little ones in the future.

Mom/student-studying hard with babe on her back!

This past month and this week the SP staff are going above and beyond their normal job description and responsibilities.  But sometimes to achieve something bigger we have the CLP soccer mom's in Sorlumba.  Even after a long day on the farm, cooking for their family, getting water, playing soccer with us guests, they head to CLP classes (at night) with their babies on their back-to achieve their goal of learning to read, write, numeracy and business skills-all which will help them and their family.  I love being part of something bigger than me-even if it means going above and beyond my comfort zone or scope of responsibilities.

Training-well, I went above and beyond any mileage I have ever done here in Liberia.  With sore legs from some tough week day work outs-a fun kids running club on Friday-I hunkered down for some long weekend runs.  It was time to go above and beyond my normal long runs-it wasn't that the 8 miler was long on Saturday -but the 16 miler on Sunday was the toughy.  Earlier that Sunday morning at 3am Joni and I had to go pick up the first of our guests (thank you air Morocc for your crazy flight times)-I was up at 230am and back in bed-guest dropped off-by 430am.  Two hours later I got up and ran my 16 miles.  I want to do well at the marathon, (that is just a mere 26 days away!) and many of you may read those last sentences and think I was nuts to get up two hours later and run 16 miles in 2:35, but sometimes to achieve something bigger than us we have to go above and beyond.  The mom's of Sorlumba do everyday - no reason why I can't either.

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