Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Winter in Liberia

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Here we all are, over half way through the month of October. For the most of our lives there have been events, mostly linked to agriculture (almonds bloomed, peppers were planted, cabbage was harvested, almonds knocked, and after many loads of peppers delivered, the year was about shot) and weather that marked the year’s passing; first cold, then hot, and then things cooled off again. Here, it is very different.

In Liberia we are just finishing the rainy season. September is normally the wettest month of the year. This year was no exception. September averaged 20 inches a week for the month, raining almost every night. The school aged Rafiki children recently took a field trip to the airport. One of the places they visited there was the weather station. They informed us that the rainy season is officially over the 15th of October. So, here we are trying to remind ourselves that it is the middle of October and the year of 2008 is coming to a close.

Time always seems to go faster and faster but here, in Liberia, it is especially hard for us to wrap our heads around the fact that summer in the states is over and Christmas is just around the corner for us all. Instead of cooling off as it is doing where we have always lived, here it is just hot and getting hotter and steamier. The months of June, July, and August, what we have always thought of as summer, is now our “rainy season.” We are finding out why the rain is enjoyed by those living here; it brings a little cool with it. Today, after 3-4 days of being dry, it rained 2-3 inches and was a nice relief!

When we arrived in Liberia in May and the first torrential rain storm came, we were told by the nationals “that we had not seen anything yet”, and we hadn’t. Now we remarked about the intense sun, and were told “you haven’t seen anything yet”. In church this morning there was a group of people from Illinois. They were fanning themselves and looked like they were going to wilt. We were quite comfortable. We may actually be acclimating!

October is the month that everyone here is planting their gardens. Up and down the highway we see villages preparing their ground for planting. Yes, we also will give farming another go. With the arrival of our container the 2nd week of September, we now have a lot of vegetable seeds to plant. Dave is watching the neighbors to see how it’s done here. We will keep you posted.

Wishing you a bountiful, cool fall.

Dave & Babs Veneman