We are so thankful that travel is finally back! It is such a special part of The Raining Season, and we truly missed it when we could not be together. On November 5th, a team of eight travelers led by Sheri Barnett traveled on our second team since January 2020. Our kids and staff were so excited to welcome this team and had been anticipating their arrival since they said goodbye to our July team. The team spent the week loving and serving our kids and staff. This included playtime, devotions, visiting the Roots homes, putting on a party at the center, and a trip to the beach for EVERYONE!
The team was welcomed to the center with the traditional welcome ceremony. They spent the first days reconnecting with the kids and staff, organizing the game room, and unpacking supplies. They brought many supplies for our center, including medical supplies, over-the-counter medications, hygiene supplies, feminine products, vitamins, shoes, school supplies, special needs items, and more. These items can be difficult to purchase in Sierra Leone or very expensive in Freetown, so having teams bring these items is very valuable. With more than two years in between teams traveling because of the pandemic, along with inflation in Sierra Leone, these much-needed supplies were missed.
Sheri also raised money through a chili cookoff at her home before the trip. Our co-founder, Uncle Osseh, joined virtually to say a prayer before the cookoff and thank everyone for their hearts for The Raining Season. The winner received African goods, and everyone enjoyed the delicious chili. The funds raised from the cookoff were used to purchase a list of needs for the Roots houses, and they also helped to fund the trip to the beach for the entire center and staff.
The team spent a lot of time playing and hanging out with our kids. One day during the week, they visited the schools that many of our kids attend, saw their classrooms, and even met some of their teachers and friends outside of TRS.
On Thursday, they made a trip to visit both Roots homes. While at the girls’ Roots home, they had the opportunity to connect with the girls while Auntie Marie prepared a traditional African meal. That evening, all the Root young adults gathered with the team for dinner and devotions. Our young adults are very busy with their school schedules and studying, so they enjoyed the opportunity to relax and spend time together.
Friday evening was a big party at the center for all of our kids. Sheri’s teams are known for their dance parties. This event included a dance off between apartments, aunties, uncles, and even the team participated. They enjoyed a fun night of snacks, smiles, laughter, and lots of dancing.
On Saturday, our team had the opportunity to take all our kids and staff to the beach. Our July team took the Roots kids to the beach, but this was the first time anyone else had been there since January 2020. Our kids always highly anticipate this event because it is such a special time. They get to swim, run, have lunch, and play soccer on the beach. This trip, they brought ninety-six kids and sixty staff members! On the way to the beach, the team stopped at the resort hotel, where two of our Roots boys were completing an internship. They were able to see the Fabulous Resort at York Village and learn more about what the boys do as part of their internship. The staff at the resort had nothing but compliments and good things to say about our boys with our team and staff. For Sheri, it made her extremely proud of our kids and the way they have been brought up at The Raining Season.
It’s always good to be together! Thank you to our November team for your hearts for our children, staff, and Sierra Leone. We are grateful for the time you took away from your own families and jobs to love and serve at The Raining Season. The Raining Season welcomes all travelers, but we are so thankful for the travelers who return year after year. They are able to make deeper connections with the kids and remind them just how loved they are. Finally, a special thank you to the November team for sharing so many of their photos, not only for this update but to be used on social media!
2023 travel dates have been set, and we would love for you to join us this September or November. The TRAVEL APPLICATION is available now.
The Raining Season