In my last post I talked about how my feelings as I watch the events in Afghanistan unfold. I was just driving home and I realized that I'm being triggered by a number of events that were life altering and who else to share this with but my wonderful readers.
I know what it feels like to need to be rescued by soldiers and I have felt the uncertainty and the real fear that passes all understanding. I remember the scary ride towards the American Embassy and the numerous checkpoints manned by Liberian soldiers, some fierce, some desperate and fearful like us. I remember the fear I had of having been in Liberia and not speaking an indigenous language because I'd had the luxury of having a staff that interpreted for me when necessary. I remember fearing for the lives of the three children, that I had made a conscious decision to keep with me rather than evacuate and how terrified I was that I had made a mistake that they would have to pay for.
I moved forward toward our evacuation point and presented our American passports at the embassy gate. Soldiers are like policeman, you don't think much about them until you need to be protected or rescued. Shortly after we entered, the embassy gates it was fired upon the rebels. We crawled hands and knees across the embassy grounds and I realized the importance, and the bravery of soldiers. While I was afraid, they were defending the the United States Embassy, and people who were inside and outside the embassy gates.
My children trusted me with their safety and although I was terrified, I refused to show fear, lest they feel unsafe...and yet they were, in terrible danger. As promised, our passports secured our seats on a helicopter manned by a gunnery mate, that lifted us to a submarine cruising the coast of Liberia.
When we landed on the deck of the submarine the cheers of predominately African American sailors cheered and clapped for us. They called out "Sis!" For the first time during our exodus, I cried unabashedly. My children were finally safe, we had been rescued by soldiers, Black and White, and we were returning to rejoin a tribe where I had uncontested membership.
During my eleven years in Liberia, I had helped train Liberian women, worked with Market Women to open a Day care center, owned several businesses and had left behind all my accumulated possessions, hopes and dreams, but left with our lives and we had hope.
Learn more in my memoir, Sweet Liberia, Lessons From the Coal Pot. Leave me a review on Amazon since this link goes directly to there. If you want a personalized copy, order from my website https://www.susandpeters.com/