Saturday, March 24, 2007

Plenty Plenty Doings

Weather: Mostly sunny the past few days, with highs in the low 90s most days and nighttime lows in the upper 70s. Some light rain in the evenings.

This week we’ve enjoyed the company of a few Stateside visitors—Mary Vermeer, an active participant and supporter of the work here, and her daughters Jennifer and Elizabeth. They began the week Sunday with us by observing and offering insight at a contentious FoCDA meeting, and ended it by helping out at a LEAD gathering of 35 participants at our home. In between they traveled with us to Buchanan, Johnson Town and Kakata, visted Sr. Barbara and the staff at MPCHS, and even were with us as the Pathfinder broke down for the second time in a week.

In addition, both Renita and I were off on our individual duties—Renita finishing a major grant proposal for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and being grilled by the UNDP evaluators on Friday, and me working on the BSW curriculum with Joseph Kpukuyou, the Johnson Town community curriculum with Grace Boiwu, and teaching the communication class. We have too much to put in one blog, so I thought we’d give you a few images today, and a few more in a couple days. We’ll breathe later.

Off on separate outings, the two vehicles just happen to pass each other. Renita is taking Mary and Jennifer around to local LEAD businesses, while Elizabeth is joining Grace and Yers T. as we head out to Johnson Town. We each got off a picture of the other, as the upper right insert attests.

In Johnson Town, Grace (in blue) shows us the womens center-- under construction.
Grace and I were in Johnson Town to gather information for a new series of community empowerment meetings I will be helping with, starting in a few weeks. (You'll have to imagine me in the blue chair. I was in the way when I tried to take the picture, so I had to move.)

Next day, Renita was off to Buchanan with the guests. Mary donated some equipment to a LEAD photo business and is here offering technical guidance.

Also in Buchanan, the tour vists a fishing business participating in the LEAD training. Mary is getting a few pointers on landing baracuda.

The next day, Friday, was packed. We finally got our car back, visited MPCHS, Renita had her interview with UNDP, and 40 folks gathered for dinner and a to-do in our front yard. This is Mary, Jennifer and Elizabeth meeting Sr. Barbara, Dean of MPCHS.

That evening a group of the business folks LEAD is serving had dinner and shared ideas for the future.

Renita and Mary listen closely as the participants share experiences and offer insight.