Almost 25 hours without receiving telephone calls, Facebook Notifications, Emailing, Texting etc. I went camping with my kids. Before I made this decision to go camping; I considered their summer away from school interest. Enjoying the bright long daylight of summer, I reflected on a family friendly recreational activities to expand their memories to add their experiences of summer. To tell you, for me it brought back the memories of the last time I slept in a tent; not for camping, but because I was a refugee in another country, (Ghana, West Africa). Am pretty show many Liberians and some people around the world have hear of the 1996 Liberian civil war. As a kid around this age, I did not know the main reasoning we had war in my country. Even up to now. I have read and research I still cannot put it all together. My finding knowledge on The Liberian Civil War during the 1996 decade are… nature resources were taken away by big countries in the world while the war was going on. Many Liberians lose their families members, Kids became War Soldiers, I became a War Child, some people got rich, Thousands of Liberians lose their lives, I and my family became refugees etc. Enough of the hunting memories that is for another blog post.
Anyway back to my tent story; I was one of the few with my family who was on that “Bulk Challenge” ship that was carrying Liberians refugees to Ivory Coast, then got denial entrance in that country and spend days on the oceans with no water, food, clothing, and access to toilets. I remember my cousins and I; had to pee in a plate taking turns as we throw it in the ocean, stuck in one location for days and nights. I remember people drinking salt water to survive, and I remember hearing stories of people being dead on that ship because they did not had food to eat. I remember the hot sun burning my skin and the hot ship steel heating my ass I sit on it to rest my bottom. After all that trauma, I imagine; My family and I settle in Ghana, as refugees, for a few weeks our home were a tent. About seven people to a tent, in ratio as I recall. To my knowledge we slept in that tent to survive and that was what we had at that time. I take it now am in America, and some may ask why will I want to experience such an experience again, this time I am not just surviving. I am choosing to experience nature and the beauty that it has. I arrived with my kids on a beautiful piece of land embodies with lakes, trees, grassland and a place to build my tent to sleep in for the night. The tent fit about six people, kids, wife, husband, young group and young couples. I sit there that morning after camping with my kids as I remember my day filled with fun and skills building with my kids. I start with the fact to say, we engaged in fishing activities, which I have never done since I left my country Liberia. I remember my patient to wait to ketch a fish and the joy on my kids’ faces as we were fishing. I and my kids engaged in swimming in nature lake fill with seaweed as we listened to the echo in each other voice in that big body of water. My daughter shows me her curious side by subjecting we go on a canoe boat to paddle as family. Once again as mother and daughter we work as team to paddle the canoe. We work as team to paddle our canoe boat in the direction that we wanted it to travel, for me I highlight this moment, I felt like for the first time with my daughter, we had to work together outside our home to communicate to follow direct the way we wanted things to be, I remember my daughter strength to take control as we were both the captain on that boat. I once again noticed the joy in their eyes as we sit at the table to eat cheap foods in high sugar. Like marshmallow, mac and cheese and chocolate as they run around the camp fire with kids their age mate. At night they slept well with all the chatter that was going on from that camp ground. So that morning, as I sit there. That early 5:30am morning, as I have noticed the stillness in the lake, the calm leaves on the tree branches; the sound of the varieties of birds, that “early birds” morning; the wet grass and the quietness from not hearing any of my human friends and camp bodies. I sit there to see the sun rise with myself and my thoughts to start another day.