He meant it as a surprise. Casual conversation destroyed that hope hope but still the sentiment remained. A kindness. A token to take with me wherever I go. And so last night was the party long in planning. People gathered in plastic chairs around a stereo system and I wondered exactly how it would go.

You see this wasn’t just a “hey come on over and we’ll hang out event”. This was beer and soft drinks stocked beyond any reasoning, heaps of jallof rice and a vat of goat soup. And then of course there was the program.

I hadn’t expected anything formal…but there was Jerry with the mic, cracking jokes and working through a short agenda before we got to the food. And so my imminent departure was announced – the reason for this gathering. I was introduced, followed by Sierra Leone – the guest celebrant and host celebrant respectively. I still find the title host celebrant unsettling…like he is eyeing my departure with an eagerness rather than reluctance.

SL spoke first…briefly, followed by my thank you to all those assembled for welcoming me to Liberia. Then Jerry picked up his guitar and played his faux Mende song a- as I’ve been requesting since the thank you party a few months ago.

After that it was all about food…food, drinking, and dancing. And so we ate and danced and danced and danced until around 11pm…then the trickle of people leaving turned into a steady stream as folks realized the current would be switched off in the next hour and they still had to find ways home and get settled into bed.

And so it ended. Out with a delicious dancing bang. My time here closing around me as I swivel my head for last looks. And on the horizon…what next echoes to me with no response.

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3 Comments on goodbye

  1. LaDawn says:

    I can taste thoe phantom plainains in my mouth. I am truly jealous!

  2. Casimir says:

    You will be remembered…Aurevoir!

  3. Linda O'Dell says:

    Lovely, but I imagine bitter-sweet! Oh my beautiful niece you are creating so many beautiful and awesome memories that will last you a life time! Enjoy!

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