On July 16th, a team of six travelers led by Charles Currie traveled on our first team since January 2020. To say our kids and staff were excited to welcome the first team to our center in two and a half years is an understatement. There were big hugs and a lot of catching up to do. It was a busy trip, and many things were accomplished, but most importantly, it was good to be together again.
Our first trip post-COVID was a learning experience. There was more red tape to navigate and new things to figure out logistically, but overall, everything went very smoothly. While our kids and staff missed teams, they also missed the much-needed supplies that teams bring with them to the center. Each team gathers supplies for our kids and center. These supplies replenished some of our resources that are either difficult to purchase in Sierra Leone or very expensive in Freetown. Our July team primarily brought school supplies and medical supplies, including medications and items for our clinic.
Community outreach has always been an important part of our trips; however, on this trip, the team primarily focused on spending time with the kids and staff and reestablishing connections since there had not been a team in so long. This meant lots of time playing and talking together and many special activities, including a STEM day where they could build bridges and create different structures. While all of our kids enjoyed these activities, the biggest boys really had fun! Another fun activity for all of the kids was a “Tea and Talent” night that also included a dance party.
The team also visited the girls’ Roots House, where they spent time with all of our Roots young adults. With the help of the girls, Auntie Marie cooked them a Sierra Leonean dinner, and after dinner, the kids shared their future goals and what they would like to study. The team also had the opportunity to take all of the Roots kids to the beach. This was really special and fun for the kids since they had not been since before COVID. It was a cold and rainy day, but still, a fun way to spend time together and make memories.
Finally, several team members met with our school’s teachers. As our school continues to grow and develop, they worked together to discuss our teachers’ vision for the school and what they would like to implement.
The Curries were returning to Sierra Leone for the first time since they served as long-term missionaries for The Raining Season from 2017 to 2020. Ally described the trip as bittersweet. They never expected to be gone this long, and it was hard to think about how much time had passed. However, it was also exciting for them to see how the connections were still there. Charles and Ally were the first house parents when our Roots Home opened its doors in 2018. They played a vital role in the development of The Roots Project, and it was exciting for them to see how it had continued to grow. Ally shared, “For us, there was the component of seeing how the Roots program has developed, what new things were on the horizon, and how the kids have grown and become adults. It was really exciting for us to see how they navigated the market, transportation and are continuing to take on responsibilities as blossoming adults who they are becoming.”
We are so thankful that travel is finally back! We know what an important role travel plays in The Raining Season, and we were just as anxious as many of you to get our feet back on the ground in Sierra Leone. We know our teams missed traveling. Our kids and staff missed it, too. It’s so good to be together again! Thank you to our July team for your commitment to serving in Sierra Leone. We are grateful for you and your hearts for our children and staff. Our next team is preparing for their November trip, and we are excited to share our 2023 travel dates soon!
The Raining Season