Monday, January 26, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

It has been cool here for the past two weeks.  Well, 'cool' is a relative term;  we are still wearing short-sleeved shirts and flip-flops, just not perspiring as much as we usually do.  The nationals are chilled, though.  Our guards wear parkas, the laundry girl keeps a knit hat on all day, and the mommas have been requesting hot tea with supper!  Here is a picture of two of the cooks all wrapped up for the "cold snap" we are experiencing.
Part of the reason for the cooler weather is the harmattan winds.  This is a winter wind (late November through March) that starts in the Sahara Desert and blows west, picking up dust and dirt.  The Harmattan arrived in Liberia this past weekend.  It kind of looks like afternoon winter tule fog in the central California valley, except the haze is not fog, but dirt!  So a better analogy would be like living right next to an almond huller during the month of September!  It is dusty, dusty, dusty.  But the plus side to this weather is that it is cooler, as the dust stops the intense rays of the equator sun from beating down on us.  See?  A silver lining in everything!

Hope this finds you enjoying your weather, whatever it is today!

Dave and Babs

Monday, January 19, 2009

Water World Rules!

On a warm afternoon (oh, who are we kidding? They are ALL warm afternoons!), we huffed and puffed into two blow-up swimming pools; added two large plastic wash tubs, and set them all under two lawn sprinklers. Behold the extravaganza called Water World!

It was a fun afternoon, with much splishing and splashing by everyone. Someone even started a water fight (who would do such a thing!), but of course, the man with the garden hose won!
Several hours later, as sand was rinsed out of swimming suits and dumped out of pools, the day was declared a complete success. Water World will return someday soon!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Look Out, Dakota Fanning! Here's Competition!

The first ever Christmas Pageant here at the orphanage was held on December 24, 2008. We had wise men, shepherds, an angel, Mary, Joseph, and two guys who were the "official star holders". It was a traditional pageant that retold the story of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem.
All things considered, it went very well. One of the star holder guys kept dropping the star on Joseph's head; an exuberant wise man excitedly proclaimed her memorized lines, plus the lines of the other two wise men; a little girl in the audience wanted to hold the baby in the manger; carols were sung a little off key. Halfway through, Joseph and the two star holders decided they were finished wearing their costumes and tore them off. Yes, sounds like a typical children's Christmas pageant to me!
But the songs were sung with great gusto; the children were happy to share the story of the baby Jesus; Mommas were proud to see the children perform. It was a joyful experience and a wonderful gift to the King!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

This morning, at 5:00am, God treated us to a marvelous display of His fireworks! Liberia had their first storm of 2009, complete with heavy rain and an awesome lightening show, accompanied with grand, booming thunder. When I went to open the dining hall at 6:15am, the rain had lessened, and the sounds of drums and singing were coming from one of the nearby the villages: the locals were officially welcoming the new year!

Our youngest cook wandered into the kitchen at 6:30am. She had been to an all night prayer meeting at her church and did not go to bed until 2 am this morning. Of course, the thunder woke her up earlier than she had planned to awaken this morning. Hm-m-m-m...three hours of sleep. Ah, youth! Many churches in Africa celebrate the beginning of the new year with all night prayer vigils. A pretty cool way to start 2009, but difficult to manage if you have to work New Year's Day.

We have discussed what we would like to see happen this year: Dave is praying that God will grow this village with more children and that we will be instrumental in doing what He has planned. I would like to get some curtains hung in the clinic and lose ten pounds. Yes, I am shallow and Dave is a much deeper thinker than I am! But we all knew that! But we both agree that as hard as it is sometimes to be away from dear family and marvelous friends who support this head-scratching adventure we are confusing as it is sometimes to be separated from everything we know as "normal...this is where we are supposed to be right now. We have full assurance that God is "the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas" (Psalm 65:5). And with that hope, we are O.K.

So we wish you all a Happy, Blessed, Full-of-adventure, Hope-filled New Year! Please excuse me now; I need to go hang curtains in the clinic!

Dave and Babs