Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Update from Liberia

Kathy has continued to teach the preschool class of 25ish kids. It has been a challenge to teach without many resources. I was ready to quit when I found the key to the library and discovered many books on ABC's, numbers, and colors. I also found small blackboards and chalk that the children can use to practice their numbers and letters, coloring books and even crayons! I am excited about the books and teaching resources in the library. There are over 20 boxes of books that need to be open and organized, once we find shelves. That could take years in Africa to find or to make. I am going to push for it to get done while I am here so that they can be used. I am going to try and establish library time during the afternoons. School is only in session from 8:00-1:15. I plan on being in the library until 4:00 to encourage kids to come and read or talk to me.

Dorothy and Jimmy are our hosts as we live in their home that operates as the guest house on the Camphor Mission. I think she is realizing that we are different guests than others from America. I help with laundry, haul water occasionally, and love eating African food. Dorothy is the dietitian, head cook, and Jimmy is the principal at the boarding school. They have a house full of their own children and many extended family live here too. Our bedroom, the biggest one here with its own bathroom, I am certain is a bedroom full of kids when we are not here. Currently there are three other bedrooms PACKED with people, mostly children.

Danny is enjoying the clinic more and more everyday. He and the nurse are beginning to hear one another's English. There is a Liberian English that is spoken here that is fast, broken, and jumbled. We talk about the need to speak Standard English in order to move forward as a school, person, and nation. He has seen many pregnant women on their 11th pregnancy with a pattern of having lost more than one child to death after birth. So sad. Clean drinking water, malaria, and immunization are the biggest concerns. Mom's don't know when their babies were born so they don't know how old the babies are so there is no way to measure or know where they should be on the growth chart. These are the challenges with little education and exposure to life outside of the village. We really are in rural Africa.

We do miss being in Ohio during the fall, the smells of bon fires, leaves, football games, sounds of crunching leaves, pumpkin coffee, walks through the woods, runs with our dog, I am clicking my heels together, "There is no place like home!" Soon, less than 45 days! Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers! We are sending this email from Buchanan, the second largest city in Liberia, also a port town. Buchanan is about 10 miles from the Camphor Mission. Hope you are doing well in your space on the planet!

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Thank you for your lovely stories of Africa. It makes me want to go back there. I've been back in Germany for about 4 months now and I still miss Maua and Kenya.
Be blessed, especially when you get back home. It won't be an easy time.
Katherine Eve