Saturday, November 29, 2008

other sights in Monrovia

I truly wish I were back in Liberia. I left a large hunk of my heart there. I have photos posted around our house, so I still feel connected. I'll post a few random photos of Monrovia, so you can get a feel for the place and people.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

still at Camphor Mission school

We saw many new foods and how they were prepared. Fufu is a staple in Africa, and it's like bread. It is ground cassava root, mixed with eggs and allowed to rise. The photos show the balls of fufu just made. Each ball will rise and become about as large as a soccer ball. It is steamed and fluffy. While it doesn't have much flavor, it is good when used to wipe up sauce from your plate. Oh, when you sit down for a meal, the plates are turned upside down. One photo shows a charcoal heated iron. Each of the staff residences has some vegetable growing in containers--plastic bags or pots. The plants flourish, even tall cassava plants.

Palm frouns (sp?) are used for the roofing, tied onto tree branches tied together.

One photo is of kids mugging for the camera. The kids LOVE to be photographed and nowadays, rush up to see themselves in the viewer on your camera. Great spirits, generous people.
I've been off two weeks for surgery on my hand, so haven't posted anything. Sorry. I've got many more photos so stay tuned.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

back in Monrovia


photos--I guess they appear in reverse order to the captions:

rebuilding after the war.

we passed a furniture outlet on our way into town.

I'm trying to get the photos by the text but it isn't working--help.

we took our staff out to the only fancy restaurant in Monrovia, La Pointe--close to the large American Embassy compound.

view from restaurant balcony. a fisherman uses a sail and nets. this is the Atlantic.

some of the food is VERY spicy,but which ones?

Francis (in cap) is in charge--men call her Mama out of respect. Rebecca and Rose are wonderful


A street we drove on our way back to the Bishop`s compound--business as usual, in a town of 1.3 million.

we are back and it started to pour--july-sept is the rainy season--in january it can be 102 degrees here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

limited jobs available


The one photo shows cooking over charcoal, which is made by the school staff. The other photo I titled, "girl friends." Kids are the same everywhere I think.

Incidentally, I joined an international organization, created as a place people can share needs and ideas world-wide. I invite you to read my comments there: My journal is entitled (what else) "Girls in Liberia." You can join yourself free.

Rubber is a huge product of Liberia and Western Africa. We passed the largest rubber plantation, Armstrong Rubber--roads paved, decent housing for their workers, a clinic, schools, etc. Isn't it amazing what money can provide, even in a developing country. The photos were taken at the second largest producer and shows the process. It is dangerous work.

If anybody wants to send me a check for the airfare, I want to go back. My heart is permanently filled with the generous sharing shown by the native people. :-)

I want to apologise for duplicating the photos on two blogs. This is hard to remember what I've already shared, especially since I'm doing the two blogs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

educated children are the future of Liberia

Darn, while downloading photos, I accidentally deleted this posting. POOF and a blank window.

I'm showing the programs at Camphor Mission School, where the enrollment has increased to 350 students and the new programs Frido Kinkolenge manages. The challenge taken on by the United Methodist Church's Liberian Conference is huge: get ex-combatants to turn in their guns, get kids off the streets and out of a life of crime and get everyone educated and ready for real jobs.

The one photo is of young women who are being taught to read and write and how to sew. One photo has their father, brother or husband attending a class to see what the women are doing. Computer classes, sewing, typing, literacy, it's all succeeding, it will just take time. In the meantime, I saw the look of hope in the eyes of the young children and joy in being alive.

More later.

young children the future of Liberia

A whole generation was lost to rebel fighting. The fighting was all about greed and power, and selling diamonds and gold. The rebels thought they could seize the best land and were often young men and women, who had no education, no job and they offered them the excitement of "taking" what they wanted by pointing a gun at someone.

Four new programs have been started by the United Methodist Church's Missionary, Frido Kinkolenge in Buchanan. In African culture girls grow up knowing that their role is to have children. One of the new programs helps young women get literacy skills, teachs how to sew, bake, so she can have a decent chance to earn some money. Ex-combatants (male and female) are offered an alternative to a life a crime and given typing lessons and computer training. Young children who are orphaned and living on the street are given daytime schooling and the last program is helping children at a refugee camp.

The "war" lasted over 10 years, while the then President Taylor piled fortune on fortune. He left before the election in 2005, with all the Liberia Government's money in a brief case.

This brings us back to Camphor Mission School and Frido's programs in nearby Buchanan. The enrollment in Camphor Mission school is increasing every year, and Frido has as many young people engaged in his program. The young people are happy to be structured and learning and getting one meal a day while at school. The drop out rate is minimul and the programs are succeeding.

The process will be slow, but there were encouraging signs of rebuilding and progress. For instance, a new agricultural program is hoping to grow all the food needed at Camphor Mission School. Sewing machines and computers have been donated and are used by many students. And you can see hope in the eyes of the students.

More later.

Monday, October 13, 2008

life at Camphor Mission school

It was interesting to see how people lived in Liberia. They made cooking oil (photos in another posting), grew their own food/harvested food growing wild, lived simply and were happy. Many generations lived in the same huts and all the staff, including teachers, were provided with living quarters. These photos show some women cooking, grinding cassava for today's use (tapioka, or meal used like porridge or FOFO), more on fofo later.

They have several goats and will build a herd of both goats to milk (for the children) and for meat.

Garfield Church is on campus and there is a photo of the inside, plus the drums that accompany the singing (the first hour of worship). Then I've included a photo of one of the women as she looks so sweet.

I have thousands of photos to share, so be patient, as I have other things to do too :-)