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Our family concerns in unrest in Cote d'Ivoire


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Some of you may see our postings on FB... and not know what is going on. This is what you don't know. Our daughter Sonya married Freddie from the Ivory Coast (Africa). They have a 2 year old daughter Alleah. They have been trying to adopt Freddie's niece & nephew (Freddie's brother was killed in the civil war there & their mother is struggling just to survive). In the African custom, Freddie is expected to care for his brother's children... (and he does send money back). The Ivory Coast had an election recently... which is not being followed & the country is swiftly deteriorating into violence, possibly returning to civil war. Allica (the niece) has been living with Freddie's mother in Cote d'Ivoire... Girls rarely get educated in Africa... in fact a lot of boys do not. Freddie's father was the village elder & Freddie was privledged to be educated in France, Switzerland & the US (2 Masters Degrees). Freddie is smart & tireless worker, with extensive language skills. Currently doing contract work with a NGO dealing with foreign aid projects. Sonya & Freddie have finally received adoption papers giving them the legal right to adopt Allica (9), no small feat with the Ivorian government in turmoil. The last obsticle is a US Visa... still waiting... but it is not safe to go there to get her out if the visa comes through... people are bing murdered in the streets & UN peacekeepers are not able to stop the violence. Meanwhile, Allica's brother (14) had returned to their village to attend the UNICEF run school when the village was pillaged again (not sure by who... people with guns come & take what they want). People were just beginning to return to the village to their farms & rebuild their homes after the Civil War. He & another kid walked through the bush crossing the border into Liberia with no shoes & the clothes on their backs. Sonya & Freddie had intended to get Allica out first but now have a call into the state dept to see if they can get him out ahead of his sister. He's out of the country... maybe they can get him a visa as a Refugee / displaced person. I am not directly involved although we nerviously follow the News out of Africa. Sonya & Freddie are saving days off & a cash fund so if there is an opportunity they can fly to Africa on a moments notice. It's about 24 hours in the air one way with connections through France or Geneva. I'm not sure what Sheila's role would be... Sheila had hoped to go to Cote d'Ivoire but it might be necessary for her to stay here with Alleah. I wish there could be some progress. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12582014 I'll tell you what... It makes me treasure the USA. We may grumble about a lost election. We may say, we'll vote the bum out at the first opportunity. But when the voting is done, we generally have a peaceful transition of power. Those rare aberrations are by sick people and are rejected by both sides as such. As a history buff, this was the founding fathers greatest gift.

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