Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Blogger is finally up again after a week of not letting us in, so here we are. We try to give you news at least once a week, so if it has been longer than that, it's almost always a technical glitch. Here is our Christmas entry, which has been updated a bit.

We are in a quieting down mode these last few days. LEAD and Mother Patern College are taking a break, school is out for a few weeks, and even though rogue activity is up again, we are responding with a night time neighborhood watch. It seems much quieter than last year. It feels like Liberia is healing.

Monrovia is a crazy town as shoppers flood the street side markets looking for gifts for family and friends. Here, as in America, Christmas is too much about buying and getting. It is tough to watch the pressure Liberians put on each other to “give me my Christmas,” especially with such extreme poverty and unemployment. So the Reeds are avoiding the city at all costs, and happy to live far enough away not to feel the chaos.

Back home, we are taking things in stride. Our struggling generator, a very generous gift from our friends Mary and Ron Van Valkenberg, finally gave up the ghost after fourteen months of suffering the effects of Liberia’s salty humidity and terrible gasoline. Yet even living without electricity for many days during the last month was ok. The evenings were quiet, and the candlelight was nice. The new, much smaller and simpler generator we bought Monday is humming along beautifully. All’s well that ends well.

The living room is decorated with cut-out snowflakes and birthday wishes for Jesus, and we even have a two foot high plastic tree adorning one of our end tables. Christmas day, we’ll have our traditional birthday party for Jesus and enjoy a meal of chicken thighs and legs (we never see chicken breasts here)m mashed potatoes, gravy, cornbread dressing, canned green beans and homemade apple and chocolate cream pie.

As we enjoy the breather, enjoy these cheery Christmastime images.

Noah and Trokon building a palm leaf hut. Planning a camp out soon. Getting help from Christmas elves. Why are they white?

Trokon up the plam tree cutting down a ripe bunch of palm nuts. Palm butter and dried fish! Yum! A holiday treat!

Hannah and Andrew. I'm watching him like a hawk.

Time for Christmas cookies-- hold the palm oil.

The next door neighbor pup and the monkey making out under the mistly tow. Look, I know its holly, but these guys use any excuse they can.

The monk and Renita enjoying an elf fly-by.

Christmas morn, sunrise in the Reed home. We caught the elves trying to rip us off.

They say there is a resemblance, but this picture proves otherwise.