Saturday, August 12, 2006

Reed News Update

Hello dear friends and family—time again for some news from our part of the planet. First, the weather: If you talk to ten Liberians, you will get ten different descriptions of when the rainy season is most rainy. Everybody we’ve talked with agrees that the worst of the wet stuff falls somewhere between June and the end of September, but I’ve heard people say each of those months is the wettest. International meteorologist say that there are actually two rainy seasons in this part of the world— the first roughly June and July, the second late August through mid October. We observed a couple weeks of dry weather last August, and it has been relatively dry here for about a week. Regardless, it is good to know we are more than halfway through it, even though the temperatures are more comfortable now than during the dry season.

Now for a bit of what else is happening:

Item: The reconstruction of Liberia continues, with most of the work happening in Monrovia. The streets of the city are lit at night for the first time in fifteen years, and current is being restored in more structures every day. Water pipes are being laid and clean water is beginning to flow again in parts of the city. One of the most important elements of the restructuring is the improvement of roads and the government tells us that that cannot begin until October, although workers are fixing potholes much more efficiently than last year at this time.

Item: Deacon Reeves has been in the hospital two times over the last couple of months. The complications surrounding his newly discovered diabetes have rendered him bedridden for almost the entire time. In the last couple of weeks he has seen some improvement following surgery to drain a very large abscess in his back. He is beginning to recover. His blood levels are better, although there are still dramatic spikes and drops, and he is outside more.

Item: The second LEAD business class has finished and the first loans for class number one were distributed. The business owners who received those loans are investing in their businesses and now the real test begins to see if the knowledge and capital their received will result in healthier businesses, more employment, and an increase in profit. Renita and James, the LEAD Coordinator, are preparing for the third class, which begins September 19.

Item: I am right in the middle of teaching a fifty hour seminar on what they call psycho-social skills. It amounts to an introduction to an introduction to counseling course. In attendance are about 25 Liberians involved in social work activities. I’m impressed with the dedication of these workers and the energy that they show in coming to a class every day from 8:30-3:30 pm.

Item: Our friends, the DeGraw family, through the United Methodist Church, were able to send seven rubbermaid tubs on a container that arrived on Wednesday. It is a real pleasure distribute Bibles, books, and clothing to our friends and neighbors. Bibles go the quickest - our neighbors just can't get enough.

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