Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Eight Month Update

We arrived at Robertsfield Airport July 24, 2005. It seems like another age ago. The adjustment continues for us, some have further to go than others—but the progress is now three steps forward, one back. Here’s some news:

Item: As you know and may have seen, President Sirleaf addressed a joint session of the US Congress. This rare honor was a tremendous boost to her already high standing in Liberia, and gives her much political leverage to accomplish the rebuilding of Liberia over the course of time the job will require. I think her international popularity helps Liberians be more patient with her. They may believe she is competent, so when she says, “the job will take years,” they are more likely to believe her.

Item: They say Monrovia will have limited electricity by this August. No, the Reeds will not benefit from this, although they say street lights will be operating within a 12 mile radius of the city, which could affect us depending on from where the twelve miles is measured.

Item: The well now has a pump. This is a great advancement and means two things: clean water coming out of the well, and much less toil in collecting our 30-50 gallons of water a day. Hannah or Noah do the pumping, Renita and I the hauling. The pump is a gift from a group of committed Madison Square Church folks who love this neighborhood from thousands of miles away. From about a hundred Liberians and four North Americans, thank you.

Item: Renita’s mother Marrie and father Peter will be here next week. The family is excited and eagerly anticipating their arrival. Not to mention the 150lbs of stuff they are bringing. Marrie will be active doing nurse things with dying AIDS patients, teaching nursing students at Mother Patern College, and assisting the medical team at ELWA hospital. Peter will be teaching for several of the area churches, and preaching on Sunday.

Item: Both Renita and I are teaching each week. Renita is teaching and coordinating the LEAD class of 20 business people, and I am teaching the Conflict, Trauma and Peacebuilding course to 19 college students at MPCHS.

Item: Progress is being made on the US college- MPCHS connection toward creating a Bachelor of Social Work program here. Too early for an announcement, but keep yer eyeballs peeled.

Item: Unfortunately, the rogues are still active in our area. While they have not bothered us since we completed our wall and got a barking dog, the other night they broke into our dear friend Deacon Reeves shed and stole his generator. Now he is completely without power except for the three hours we run the generator from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. (We run a line from our house to his.)

Sorry, no pictures today—more soon. Thank you for your attention, and your support. You are the vessels through which good stuff is moving here. Thanks for LEAD, thanks for the BSW program, thanks for the well pump—thanks for everything.

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