Monday, November 27, 2006

ReedNews Update

Due to deaths, ponderings, and general busy-ness, we have not given you a news update in a month or so. The hot, drier season is upon us which means it is time for some of the government-sponsored road work to begin. We have seen some of these plans, which include resurfacing and widening roads, as well as creating new paved roads in the interior. Have yet to see much around Monrovia, but watch for it daily. More power continues to be restored in Monrovia. Mother Patern College is powered 22 hours a day. Street lights are now extending out of town, inching their way toward us. Here is what else is happening.

Item- Renita has just ended her third twelve-week class on business development for LEAD. More businesses are requesting loans, and the next class is being planned. LEAD is getting to be quite the "Little NGO That Could."

Item- Mid terms are over for my class at MPCHS. Most folks are doing well, but a couple are really struggling. I hate the idea of anybody flunking.

Item- I've been asked to create an all day workshop on behalf of the ministry of health for a bunch of mental health organizations. This will be a report on the work our task force has been doing to establish mental health training standards for Liberia.
Item- The Foster Town Community Development Association is busy working on its next project, and its a big'un. They are working to establish a community market. This would be a huge boon to the Foster Town/Thinkers Village area. Currently people have to travel miles for daily food. This would put all they need within walking distance. The benefit would be to thousands. Thanks to a Madison Square family for the money to secure the land. The community meeting are a thrill to behold. Neighbors that hardly talked before working together to make the community healthier, happier, and more close-knit.
Item- On the Reed home front, our hands are full keeping our car and generator running. In the last month, we have replaced bushings, balljoints and shocks on the Pathfinder, and diodes, a capacitor, and other maintainance on the generator. As I write, the generator is still under repair and the Reeds have been without power for four nights. We are seriously considering buying a smaller backup, thanks to a gift from my big brother, Don and his wife Carolyn.

Item- Some of you read our update from Friday, November 4 of 2005 on the death of our next door neighbor's dog, Survivor. Survivor was hit by a car with ten barely weened pups. The Reeves' gave away all the dogs--including one to us we named Pinky-- except one, which they named Survivor. Six weeks ago, Survivor II gave birth to six pups, and two weeks later, in front of Hannah and Renita, was herself hit and killed buy a car. So now we are trying to give these pups a chance. One has already died. Needless to say, none are named Survivor.

Here are a few current "around the house" photos.

Each morning, after some individual quiet time, we start the day together over coffee. Rarely missed, it is an important time to connect and plan. Noah usually accompanies us. I look at my toes and dream of Michigan.

As we sip and talk, we also watch the birds-- egrets, doves, kingfishers-- and these little guys, weavers. The males are bright yellow with a red eye peering out of a black head. They move like a wall as they devour the rice we toss out for the chickens.

Extremely skiddish, the weavers take off at the slightest movement. We can feel the blast of air from their wings from our chairs on the porch.

Last Saturday, the boys asked us if our yard could be part of their "cleanup campaign." They were attempting to raise money for the new "younger kids" football team. There were about fifteen kids in all.

One of Survivor's pups, Blackie, became very sick because of a worm related problem. We brought him home for some intensive care, but it proved to be too late. Blackie died that night.
Next day, Eastman and the Reed kids buried Blackie. Blackie's owner Trokon was off playing football. As always, death is never far away, so it is taken in stride. As always, only Hannah and Noah shed tears.

On a lighter note, Noah and Yers T. are introducing an exciting new game to the neighborhood. Its called "softball." The kids are loving it. They dig the helmets too. A gift from the Ammons'.

Day is done, and the generator is acting up. Yers Trooly lowering the idle so we get the proper amount of watts. Nobody want to see anything blow up...

... like Noah's head for example. Just before bed, a bit of barbering. The great thing about Noah is his multi-tasking ability. Here, he gets his hair cut while at the same time plays "The Sims."

The all-important family septic tank shot. We're always looking for a nice backdrop.