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Magical ankle-biting beach rocks

11 Dec 16
Ruby Jones


Hello friends and family! This week has been more difficult for me than past weeks, but I have reason to believe that this next one will be better. For quite a while I’ve been battling a violent cough, runny nose, mild fever, and fun stuff like that 🙁

I’m also recovering from an…adventure from last Saturday. We went to Kpekor Beach Saturday afternoon, but nobody would get in the water. Everyone was scared of the rocks – a superstition of demons or witchcraft kept them from swimming. To show them there was nothing to fear, my dad waded into the lagoon and sat on one of the rocks that was halfway under the waterline. Ivy and I went with him, just playing on the rocks. When my dad and the others had moved on farther down the beach, I decided to go too. When I was coming off the rock into the water, my foot slid on a rock topped with moss, and my ankle bent in a painful way that made me catch my breath. My foot had slid into a small crevice between two rocks, and when I had pulled myself together and gotten to the beach where my mom was standing, I realized that I was bleeding pretty badly from a gash on the outside of my right ankle, maybe and inch wide, just below the bone. It was painful to walk, but I still could, so that was a good sign. I went and soaked my foot in the salt water of the ocean, which didn’t hurt as much and it sounds like. My mom and I followed the others down the beach, walking in the water, and sitting on the sand when I couldn’t walk so well anymore.

After being treated with some country medicine by my kind friend Morris Jaleibah, and a bumpy ride home, I could barely walk because of the pain. I was feeling what I completely thought was just a sprained ankle, not really thinking about the cut. When I had finished eating and bathing, my dad and I sat down in my dad’s ofice – small, extremely hot room with a shelf full of medical supplies – to clean my injury. I’m not entirely sure what he was doing (I didn’t watch) but I was in more pain than I’d ever experienced. Imagine having something sever your skin, and then having someone separate that skin and scrub under your flesh. With alcohol. Not exactly pleasant. In fact, it was the longest 10 minutes of my life. After what felt like an hour and plenty of tears and sweat and blood, my dad told me he was finished and that we needed to go to the clinic for stitches. Knowing that it was 8:45pm and that the drive to the clinic would take about 40 minutes on an agonizingly bumpy road, and we had JUST been there for Simon’s stitches and he said he could partially feel it as they sewed him together, (this thought really scared me) I refused (in vain) to go. I changed into a dry shirt and was carried to the truck as my dad, Simon and Uncle Rufus climbed in. On the drive my dad told needed to convince me why I had to get stitches, so he revealed that the gash was so deep – through all layers of skin, through the muscle, through the fat – that he could see some of the the tendons. (gag reflex)

We also discussed how strange it was, considering the depth of the laceration, that I didn’t even know that my skin had been lacerated. A possibility was that the end of my nerves had been severed, eliminating pain of that nature. Deciding that this was the most likely explanation, I thanked God for this. The only thing in my mind that could have made it much worse was more pain at the time of the accident, causing a traumatic scene on the beach. On the long commute to the clinic I solved my own perplexity on exactly how I was hurt. When my foot went into the creavice, the skin there, just below the bone was taut. There must have been another sharp rock there between the two rocks I knew of, farther down. That taut part of my foot just pushed right into that rock, and all I felt was the turning of my ankle. It makes me shudder to think of how I pulled it out.

When we reached the clinic, my dad carried me inside where I was registered and set in a small room on a bed as Prince, the doctor (not really a doctor, more of a technician), prepared the necessary supplies. After receiving a priesthood blessing from my dad and Rufus, the first procedure was a few lidocaine shots, (major ouch) after which Prince shoved something that looked like a thread with the consistency of a wire through one side of my gash and out the other, making a knot, and sewing the skin. I was astonished! I could only feel pressure as he flossed it through, nothing more than a tugging sensation. He did this four times, and then it was over. After getting bandaged up and getting an antibiotic shot (ahem – in my right buttock) I was free to go. For some reason the ride home was more painful. I could feel every jolt and bounce in my foot. Upon reaching home and exhausted, I splashed cold water on my face, took some pain killer and knocked out for the night.

The following day I didn’t go to church. Monday my dad drove me on a motorbike to school and back. The next day I stayed home sick. The next day Simon took me on a motorbike to school. The next day was Thanksgiving. (I’m not lying) The next day I stayed home sick. This is such a shame because I really do love school. Believe me, in the US for some reason I would have had no problem with skipping huge amounts of school attendance, but only going to school twice this week kind of depressed me. Luckily my ankle is doing well, and the only sickness I have now is what is called GYC in Liberia. (Grave Yard Cough) I’m basically a professional now at my twice daily cleaning of my wound, and I’ve gotten used to the sting of the alcohol. “By the Grace of God I will reach on campus tomorrow.” This is a common phrase here, and applies to me 🙂

Thanks for sticking with reading this whole thing. It makes it more enjoyable to use my time writing when I know somebody is actually interested.

your grandaughter, niece, young woman, friend, sister, cousin, bestie, and buddy, Ruby <3

OH! Btw, in the picture, it’s me and Faith Tokpah. Myself and all her family calls her Akos, which is her “house name”. This sweetie is the cutest darned thang you ever saw! Whenever this 5 yr old sees me she calls out “Hey my beeeeeeeest friend!” 🙂




  1. Wynn December 26, 2016 at 5:46 am

    What a story, Ruby. I saw the pictures of your ankle. That looks DEEP! So glad that it’s mended mostly now.

  2. Gramma Jones January 9, 2017 at 6:00 am

    I am ALWAYS interested in what you write. I feel as if I am there; living the life with you. So, so many experiences you are having. Continue to embrace each one. There is growth in both the positive and negative experiences. As you reflect back, you will see what I am talking about.

    So good to talk with you. I so love you…

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