As we arrive to the Lungi Airport, we are consumed with a feeling of exhaustion, blanketed in local red road dust from our 7 hour trip and yet filled with the adrenalin-anticipation of returning home. We have accomplished a lot of good work while in Serabu. 243 people were blind and now see. Hundreds more were given medicines or glasses to improve their vision. Nearly 40,000 meals were served or given away to patients and their families and of course to local Serabu residents. (We gave several cases of food to the Central Mosque next door to help with their sacred Ramadan month and in appreciation of the countless number of patient visitors that they fed and housed.) Six parishioners, including Fr. Ben Bradshaw, had a great retreat and four students’ explored new horizons of faith and service. The airport is hot and crowded as we get in line for an hour of check points.
After making it through the Ebola screening at airport entrance, airport check-in, airline check-in, luggage check-in, passport check-out and security check points, we arrive to a large waiting room for all airline departures. There are only a few airplane encounters each day so much of the time we sit and wonder if our plane will be among the few to arrive on time, while longing for a shower to wash away our grime. The room is cool enough to sense some notion of air conditioning and warm enough to know it’s not working very well. After a couple of hours we hear the roar of our plane arriving on time (yeah !!) and we prepare to pass through one more departure check point. Next Stop – Paris. We must be dreaming.