Monday, October 08, 2007

Ebb Today, Flow Tommorrow

Weather: Mostly sunny and hot during the day, with thundershowers during the night. Locally heavy rains for brief periods. Highs during the past few days in the upper 80s, lows in the upper 70’s. Today (Monday the 8th) begins very bright, and should be sunny most of the day. Nice breeze out of the east, 10-15mph.

We’ve had a bit of a breather these last few days, which has been nice. More time to sit in the yard at day’s end, more time to visit with some of our community and church friends. As the rainy season transitions into the dry, we are afforded lovely sunsets and in the evening, refreshing off shore breezes.

But it’s a brief respite. Beginning late this week, we enter a few weeks of intense activity. Renita’s work with LEAD will have her—and the rest of the Reeds-- traveling deep into the interior to Lofa County. Lofa is NNW of us, on the Guinea/Sierra Leone borders. Because of the road conditions, even though our destination is less than 150 miles away, we will take all day to get there and have to spend the night. Renita is traveling to Lofa, and also to a place called Bong Mines in Bong County, to evaluate two agricultural projects that LEAD is considering as investment prospects. The Lofa project is a coffee plantation, the Bong Mines project is growing bananas and corn. The Reeds just purchased a well maintained 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser from Mother Patern College, so we’ll see what she can do in the Liberian bush. We would never attempt these journeys with the old Pathfinder, which we are hanging onto for backup. Anyway we should have some great pictures for you of a very different Liberia upon our return.

I will also be revving up. In addition to acting as driver and comic relief for the two LEAD trips, starting October 15 I will be conducting a sixty hour seminar on counseling skills for a group of Liberian counselors from several organizations. Basically, I get to be in front of the class for two weeks, Monday-Friday, from 8:30am to 3:30pm. It’s a gauntlet, but I am looking forward to it. I find I enjoy talking about the craft, especially with those who are practicing but know they need more training. I get to impart my know-how and tricks of the trade while they get to share their experience of field work in this deeply challenging culture. Hopefully, everybody will leave enriched and more connected with each other for future support.

Around town, some road work is beginning. For a couple weeks now, it has taken us up to an hour and a half to get into or out of town as the government works on building up secondary roads to act as bye-passes for the really big job just around the corner. They will be resurfacing the main road through Monrovia, out right past our house all the way to the airport, thirty miles from here (forty five miles from downtown Monrovia), then beyond the airport all the way to Buchanan, some eighty miles away. Obviously, even with an army of equipment, I don’t think this can be done in one dry season, but I think they’ll get a good portion of it done. Unfortunately, this will mean demolishing homes, schools, and businesses that have built too close to the road. Some of our friends will see their homes and business structures vanish before the wrecking ball. We’ll keep you informed.

A bit o' the morning routine. Homeschool includes P.E.. Here, Noah tosses a perfect spiral to Hannah during real football practice.Meanwhile, the Pathfinder's fuel lines are corroded and pouring gas. The mechanics from Mother Patern come to do what they do best. That's Mohammed in the wheel well, lead mechanic Mohammed observing, and MPCHS driver Matthew keeping company.

More of Renita sharing toothy tidbits. "Use your Brain more than your Back." Amen.

Last night, facing due NE, sittin' in the yard with the sun setting at our left shoulder, lighting up the papaya tree on the left with the new Land Cruiser on the right. In the background a storm is a'comin'.