Comments from Visitors to the NarSarah Clinic
It is apparent that those who work at the clinic are very dedicated and want to serve those around them. If it was not there, so many more people would suffer or die. The people will always be close to my heart. We were treated like family by so many people. It was difficult to leave. I will do my best to see about coming back sometime and/or encouraging other doctors to go.
I felt like if I could just sit in a room where Peacemaker, Dorcas, and Theresa were working, I would become a better person by virtue of my association with them. I have rarely encountered anyone more wholly devoted to others than the three of them are; I have faith in the success of any project with which they are involved. Their work is truly inspiring and I wish them all the best.
The streets are lined with people selling a HUGE variety of goods. The whole situation is unsettling. Here is a people, trying to work with the very limited means and opportunity alloted them and yet they receive so little for their efforts... if anything. These people aren’t lazy, this isn’t poverty as its defined in America where it can be oh so easily blamed on laziness and poor life choices. No, my point is that in this definition of poverty there is no such thing as a poor life choice...life made up its mind before you were even born. Thus I see a people who are far from lazy. My guess is they would be some of the hardest working people on the globe if opportunity would allow them to bear witness before the world. I can only imagine the proverbial five-star restaurant they would turn a McDonalds into. But sadly they don’t even have the opportunity to try. One could be the hardest working, honest, respectful, straight A student imaginable and still struggle to afford food and shelter, that alone rise out of this new found definition of poverty. It breaks my heart. It really makes one appreciate that job he dreads going to every day. That job we all to often complain under pays us. Ironically I’ve come to realize it is that very dreaded job that we should look up to the sky and give much thanks for
I can safely say the drive to Kabala and entering Kabala, I saw more beautiful sights then I have everseen. I still cannot believe that I am here. God is present here for sure and I can feel it. I feel it in the beautiful scenery and in the smiles on all the faces waiting to greet us
Our few days in Sierra Leone have been absolutely astounding. A thousand journal pages on a thousand pictures could not capture the essence of the place....a new surprise waits around every corner. The beauty and lushness of the country speak for themselves. But the images of Sierra Leone come back to the people - and these are images both terrifically beautiful and profoundly disturbing! The mothers in their fabulously colorful dress, tending their children or selling their wares with ever so much serenity and patience. Perhaps too much patience? The young men with seemingly too little to do. do they comprehend the difference between their lives and what lies in the outside world? How angry are they? Ho long will they wait? And always the children. So lovable, sogregarious, so numerous, so needy and what will their future be like?
All I can do is hope and pray and be THANKFUL for the blessings I have. I wish everyone, especially Americans, could see the experience the things we have here in this short time. Everyday I learn, everyday I grow and it is a bitter sweet feeling. I knew I would take from this trip. But I’m taking more than I could have dreamt. At the end of the days --- love everyday -- I can’t wait for the days to come. The rest of the trip will only add to the adventures we have already had.
I don’t know where exactly it happened but it was somewhere between handing blocks to workers as sweat poured down my face only to realize they were working just as hard to make a living and watching two amputees demonstrate what they would do if Brit and Heather’s "big boy friends" came around. It was some where between there that my heart was given over. Whatever it takes, whenever I can do it, I will do everything I can to help because the people of this country are worth the effort. The world needs these people and the message of HOPE they hear.
This team has definitely been part of a Foundation of Love between two cultures and two parts of theworld. Now for the two hour drive off the mountain top back to Makeni. The scenery and villages have to be one of the most beautiful in the world. May this drive always remain in our memories...full of PEACE - LOVE-QUESTIONS-HOPE and POWER! May our hearts always be filled with the gifts each of us received during our stay in Kabala
I just want to add a big hug and a thank you to everyone for making this such a life changing trip. Going home, as many others have already said, is very bitter-sweet, but somehow I know this will not be the end of this journey.
And what will we take home of Africa, other then t-shirts, and bags, and dresses, and carvings? Aprofound sense of beauty, of the friendliness of the people, and also of extreme need and tragedy. Asense of being powerless in the face of such extreme circumstances, but also a sense of awe at the resiliency of the human spirit. A powerful, moving, wonderful trip!!!
The sky was clear and the moon bright -- we say good bye to Sweet Salone tomorrow -- a time of work and tears -- fun and giggles -- songs and silence. We are grateful for this country and the strength of its people and we will always remember.
Deep inside our soul we are taking things home that we have never had before. We have a stirring inside of us that yearns to be understood and shared, but what words can express it? Is HOPE a strong enough word? Is LOVE a strong enough word?
BUT OUR WORLD WILL END WITH JOY AND HOPEBECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN TO SIERRA LEONE.OUR WORLD WILL BE A BETTER PLACE BECAUSE WEHAVE BEEN TO SIERRA LEONE.Will Sierra Leone be a better place because we have been there?I love being with you - I am a better person because of each of you!
It was hard to leave them. What a wonderful experience... The people here so appreciate anything that we can do. Sometimes it seems we are just scratching the surface. There is so much that can be done and should be done. These are good and wonderful people. Bright, hard working, kind, friendly, and happy with so little.
This is a sad/happy visit (the Blind School visit) knowing we have plans to improve their environment but sad knowing there is a need much greater than we can accomplish in 1 day. We cried after our first visit and had a wonderful team reflection time regarding our feelings. Part of a song read was: TEARS ARE A GIFT, ...For through the tears we gain release of all our hurt and pain, and through the tears our lives are healed and given hope again. We go with HOPE and LOVE and CARING!
This may be the poorest country in the world but definitely one of the happiest. If you wave at someone, they smile. If you shake someone’s hand, they smile. If you say good morning, they smile.Everything you do, they smile....when we return home -- It bothers me a lot just thinking about how no one will truly understand the true meaning of what I tell them - what went on here!
I most enjoy working on the ground in Kabala, sharing conversations with members of Women Against Poverty and the Amputees and War Wounded Association. They are full of good ideas and energy to work - truly inspiration individuals. At night time, I settle in with the six brothers, mother, uncle, sister and grandmother I've been blessed with - we share folk tales and stories of our homes. It's a wonderful cultural exchange, and I feel so welcomed. I'm even cooking for the family on the weekends. The lifestyle has been very easy for me adapt to.I'm eating the food (and even gaining weight!), wearing the beautiful local clothing, speaking Krio and a bit of Kuranko... I've even gone to a farm once with some of the WAP members to harvest rice and groundnuts. I feel perfectly at home.
"I was fortunate to visit the NarSarah Clinic along with my students during our visit to Sierra Leone in early 2007. The need for the clinic is readily apparent. More than anything, though, I was struck by the central role the clinic and its staff play in the community. The trust people have in the clinic and its primary caregivers --Peacemaker and Fena-- are palpable and inspiring. In a country beset by so many obstacles, the clinic stood out to me as a true fountain of hope."
"I was incredibly impressed by the NarSarah Clinic's organization and initiative. While visiting Kabala, we had the opportunity to sit in on an educational AIDS talk at the clinic--impressive! It became clear that the clinic requires a lot of hard work and diligence, but also that the need for it is great. Community members really seemed to be utilizing its services, and the new buildings are coming along nicely."