Monday, February 26, 2007

A Working Fun Sad Weekend

Weather: Daytime temps around 100F, nighttime temps lower 80's indoors, upper 70s outdoors. Hazy and humid. Two days of rain since Mid November.

There is never a dull moment around home or in our work, and this weekend was no exception. Our brother-in-law Brian is here to add to the craziness. Saturday Brian was off celebrating Lifewater Canada's 200 well, and Renita and I were busy working with FoCDA clearing the market site for more construction. We joined about thirty community friends on the project in 100 degree heat. It was a hoot. Brian returned later and for the rest of the weekend, hung around with us.

On Sunday we went to the beach to get some swimming in. The water was actually refreshing and the beach was unusually crowded. After a few minutes of fun in somewhat treacherous water (The beach has a serious rip tide), I noticed Brian-- who is a paramedic when not digging wells in Liberia-- had vanished. I wasn't worried about where he was; Brian is an excellent swimmer. I finally caught a glimpse of him a few yards away-- he was pulling a young Liberian man back to shore. Apparently, the young man's brother had just went under a few moments before and the young man was near downing himself looking for him. Brian brought him in. But his brother was gone. We and almost everyone left the water to look for any signs of the young man from the higher vantage point of the beach. But everyone knew how this would turn out.

Since we have been here, we have heard of dozens of people drowning on the nearby beaches. It happens far too frequently. I've almost become callous to the fact that these beaches are dangerous; I'm getting used to hearing about another drowning-- "so what else is new?" That's the way it is here, people working to buld a community-sustaining market, people trying to take a break from the pressures of living here, people dying in the midst of the activity, people grieving-- but not for long. In Liberia, extended grieving for a young drowning victim is a luxury few can afford.

The FoCDA folks (Renita on the left) clearing the market site. The poles are all up and next week we start on the roof.

Having an ad hoc meeting, discussing fees for market tables and quelling rumors.

Everyone, young and old, got into the act.

Next day, Uncle Brian the well digger up to no good with Trokon, Enoch, Hannah, Odelle and Eastman. Trying to make water balloons.

Doesn't this guy ever stop hanging around wells? Its ok, he's pumping water for our daily needs. Did it in record time too.

Later, its off to the beach. Hannah on the left, with Noah, Yers Trooly and Brian on the right. The kids on the beach include Trokon, Blessing and Odelle.

But exactly at that moment, a young man was dying yards away. After Brian brought the struggling brother back to shore, the beach crowd gathered and scanned the water. As of Monday, the body has yet to be recovered.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Just wanted to thank you and your lovely family for all the wondeful work you have done and continue to do for my people,we will always be in debt to you.