Saturday, March 22, 2014

On the (African) Road Again - part one

Today I am posting about Connie's recent trip to Guinea Bissau. Connie makes a trip to Africa every year to visit the orphanages her organization supports.

You don't often hear about Connie, as she stays quietly in the background, but she has been a lifesaver for It Takes a Village. Without Connie, we would not be able to accomplish our projects.  She is the way we transfer our American funds to Guinea Bissau (not an easy task) and she is responsible for those all important tax deductible receipts you receive when you make a donation to one of our projects.

Connie Alessi is our partner. She is President, Founder and CEO of Life Link, Inc a nonprofit 501c3. She has been helping children for more than 25 years. She is also a long time friend of Maritza's and lives in Oklahoma. She has taught parenting classes and served as a family counselor. She has a background in accounting and tax preparation. A mother and grandmother, Connie’s passion is to help every child receive love, care and hope for their future.

Connie visited Guinea Bissau in February 2014. This is her story in her own words. (I am breaking the story into 2 parts)

The Trip To Guinea-Bissau - part one

How do you condense DAYS of Adventure into a newsletter? Every day was a journey into the unexpected and an opportunity to take a deep breath and “go with the flow”! I have more stories than this newsletter will allow, so here are a few Highlights of the highlights!

We were based out of Casa Emanuel Orphanage during our adventures. We arrived there on Friday, February 14th. What a wonderful “Valentine” it was to see all the kids and the friends who care for them. We were able to deliver 4 suitcases full of “goodies”, diapers, bottles, tooth brushes, medical supplies, etc... Thanks to all who had donated goods and or money to purchase these goods! It was a great blessing!!

On the second day in Guinea-Bissau, we had the chance to go on the monthly “Health Brigade” to a village called Tchet-Tche. It was a marvelous adventure involving:

only the front door opened. the occupants had to climb over the front seat
1. Our car broke down after the first 3 hours.

Juan's car being pushed the last few feet into a fenced area
2. We had to take an African car/bus for the next 5 hours, going over roads that were no more than dry river beds! The car never got out of 2nd gear! At times we were at a 45 degree angle trying to maneuver over deep pot holes!

3. We slept in huts and had to use the great outdoors as restrooms!

4. We had to take not only all the medicines used in the outreach but also all of our food, water and other supplies!

5. Over 50 people from the Tchet-Tche and surrounding villages were treated by the medical team!

6. Spiritual inroads have been made into this Muslim village and land has been given for the building of a school and clinic by the village chief!

7. When we returned to where we had left our car, it was still not drivable so we took an African taxi back to the orphanage. My door latch was broken so I had to hold it closed.

inside the taxi
8. It was a great adventure! (I have so many stories about this village alone I could fill pages and pages! If you want to hear more, call me!!!)

the medical outreach team
9. I came away with a greater respect for Juan and Flavia Gomes who lead this monthly medical mission. The dedication it takes to make this strenuous, grueling, exhausting journey puts me to shame. They are so joyful about the opportunity to go and be God’s hand extended. Thank you for those who donate for this medical mission to take place. I want you to know that the money is well spent and showing great results in the kingdom of God!

Don't miss 'The Trip to Guinea Bissau' - part 2 - Connie visits Djati 

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