Q: Did Kaysanee, the carpenter at Camphor get the full bed done for the UMVIM Team from Minnesota?
Kaysanee is a handful. The double bed was varnished and put together in time for the Minnesota team, one bunk bed has been put in the first unit, and ohhh 4 of my locks have been changed, but the other things on his list have yet to be done. Right after ya'll left, he was busy building the casket for the man in Goba that died. Then he got busy getting the principal house ready, and then they asked him to help with some stuff on the palm house...all on top of his usual productivity! I mention "Danny's list" every time I see him, so at least I know he hasn't forgotten!
Q: Has there been any progress on the Maternal Health Ward addition?
A: The clinic addition is pretty much the same as when ya'll left. Functional, but not pretty. I asked if they were going to paint or tile and they said yes, but they don't have the money right now I didn't probe more, but that is where their minds are with it. They have been paid January and February, but have not been paid March yet. That doesn't seem to be unusual though and they weren't concerned yet.
Q: How is the car working?
A: The car is out again. I've "fixed" it twice and after the last time, I went to Monrovia for my residency, left the key with Cecilia for Pediamar and Irene to go to town Saturday, and when I came back, it was leaking gas. I still didn't have it fixed, so have been using Danny's bike to get to town the past two weekends. Will you ask him when/how often I should have the oil changed?
Q: How is your work going?
A: Book Club is alive and well, as is the librarian. There are currently 47 kids who have participated in the club and I have kids asking me all day long every day if I am going to the library. I've made library hours and then Esther is in there on Tuesdays and Thursdays for extra time. Right now she is working on reshelving books and directing kids to leave books in specified locations once they are done with them rather than putting them back on the shelf. She is really doing well and I hope to eventually work her into the book club stuff.
My mornings pretty much consist of chasing teachers. I have no desire to "manage Liberians", but have started working with Kulah on the idea of taking teacher attendance as it is one of his responsibilities according to the employee handbook. I have actually noticed a bit of improvement which is encouraging. I really want to talk with Cecilia about punishments and see if we can create some policy on how to handle kids that teachers have problems with...or more like, make problems with. Cecilia seems to be on board with the idea that kids should only be punished after class which makes me hopeful for even a tiny change.
I do library time until 2 when the kids (and I) go eat. Usually by 3 or 3:30 I have some sort of activity going on. I try to rotate
between games, drawing, crafts, singing, etc. but some days the kids request something specific so I go for it. We usually do that activity until about 5. I kind of roam the mission after that - chatting with kids who are sitting around, learning to cook from Nancy and Jenny, play soccer/kickball, etc. This time is really my favorite time. Many of the kids have started to trust me and are talking to me about things they usually only talk about among themselves. I have had lots of good breakthroughs with the older girls especially, which has been so incredible, but is also a big responsibility. It is almost like I would rather not know some of the things they are sharing, but it is a great opportunity to minister to them and try to help them see past their cultural norms to what God asks of us. I probably enjoy this time the most because it is very counselor-esque. I started doing devotions with the girls and the boys for a week, but they have really been cracking down on being around the dorms by 7 and
in the dorms by 8 so timing has not been too good for that. I have been going into the girls dorm and doing devotions with them, but feel like I am neglecting the boys a little bit. I am hoping to maybe get a small group started for at least some of them one afternoon a week.
Computer class for adults on the mission is also in the works. All the clinic staff keeps asking me to teach them in addition to Kulah, Cecilia, and Obediah. We have a total of 4 laptops that we can share and learn on which I think is great, but trying to get everyone to keep charge on their laptops for a certain day/night for computer lesson seems to be impossible. I would just run generator and let people charge while we have the lesson, but my generator is down and Sampson has it in Buchanan. (Speaking of Sampson, he lost his sister this week - prayers for his family would be greatly appreciated I'm sure.)
I am also really wanting to try to start taking an art lesson to the contained classrooms once a week. I have talked to AB and he says he would like to help if they are in his off period. I have been dropping the ball on getting this rolling, but hopefully will get to it soon! I think it would be a great interactive activity to break up the day for these students and a great way for them to work on establishing imagination, articulation of feelings, and forming independent ideas.
Q: What else is happening at Camphor?
A: Other big news - The road is getting grated this week!!! BRE is coming out I think on Thursday to fix our road because the President is coming to Camphor on the 17th. I'm not exactly sure how all this came to be to be quite honest, but what a blessing! I think Bishop organized it all. Getting the road fixed is a HUGE need.
I am doing well. My blog post was representative of a frustration, but like I said, I am really starting to look forward to those times. I am so overwhelmed with God's presence in my life right now that I cannot even explain it. I can see Him working in me, in the lives of the kids here, and even in my friends and family at home because of what is going on here. I am getting butterflies just thinking about how great He is. Every moment of every day is a blessing and a gift, and He is just teaching me how to see it as that!
I really have not been lonely even though there aren't teams here. I leave the house around 7:30, come home to eat, and then don't go back until around 9 every night so I don't really have time to be lonely!