Friday, July 13, 2007

ReedNews Update

Weather: Very heavy rains all day Friday the 13th. Local flooding. Approximately 5 inches of rain fallen as of 1:00pm. Temps in the mid 70’s. Light wind from the southwest.

The rainy season is here, but it has been generally kind to us. Since July 1, we have only had two stretches of rain falling for more than 18 hours without let up—although if it rains 24 out of 36 hours like early this week, it seems like steady rain the whole time. Today it has been very heavy with flooding, and everyone is hoping it stops soon. I took some shots on the way into town for you.

In the News--
Item-- The honeymoon is over for the Johnson-Sirleaf administration, with charges of corruption and political infighting abounding in the sensationalist gossip rags they call newspapers. At times the president’s fight against corruption has turned violent; the other day the Liberian National Police were fighting the Freeport Police because the Freeport Police were supposedly diverting petrol shipments. Indeed Monrovia was “out of gas” this week for a couple days—the few stations with gas were charging almost US$5.00 a gallon.

Item-- We continue to see signs of upcoming major infrastructure development. Not far from us, a massive buildup of road working equipment has begun. The equipment is Chinese, and I’m told the Chinese own the contract to widen and completely resurface Robertsfield highway, which is the road from the airport to Monrovia, and about a hundred and fifty yards from our house. So I’m thinking they’ll start in October.

Item—The market is open, with about twenty women selling their wares, and more signing up each day. You can buy foo-foo, greens, turkey, pig meat, cow meat, kitali, bitter ball, pepper, spices, beans, as well as soap, some clothes and flip-flops. It still has a long way to go to compete with the market a couple miles down the road, but its coming. “Small-small.”

Item—It is heartbreaking to have to report this, but we returned to discover that the pangolin died while we were away. It apparently found a home in a place that it could not back out of, and by the time our friends found it, three days had passed. I’ve never seen a more inoffensive, gentle creature, and I’m still sad about the loss. But I got the message. We will no longer support the practice of bringing in protected creatures from the bush to sell to missionary types. We thought we were rescuing creatures like the monkey and the pangolin. What we were actually doing was encouraging an illegal and destructive trade.

Item—Hannah begins her first job next week—secretary to the principal of the local school—Christ’s Friend Children Academy. The school can’t pay her of course, so Renita will be appealing to her father and uncles to chip in to augment her salary. Why we are only appealing to her uncles, I don’t know. Renita said it just seemed like an “uncle thing.”

The ladies at the new market showing their stuff. More merchants coming.

On the way into Monrovia this morning. The work does not stop, and these guys hauling planks in a wheel barrow are two of thousands doing their thing in the deluge.

Streets in town flooding. This sight is not at all unusual during this time of year.

Neighbors homes flooding as everyone waits it out.
Back home, Max licks Grace-- "Hey-- she tastes like venison!"Last night before the rains, pets gather at day's end to munch turkey bones and discuss ways to show the humans how to get along.