Friday, May 17, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Mother's Day in Liberia is a big deal. A "Mother of the Year" is chosen in every church. Names are submitted by the congregation, and secret voting is done to chose the special lady who is to receive the honor this year. The  names of the winners are announced a few weeks prior to Mother's Day, and then these ladies are celebrated and honored throughout the service on Sunday, Mother's Day. These Mother's Day services can go on for hours, as there is special music and "pinning" (candy and ribbons are pinned on members of the congregation who go to the front of the sanctuary and place money in the offering box. We think this money is to pay for extra expenses incurred for the special Mother's Day worship flowers and fancy bulletins and candy and ribbons.)

The ladies of Liberia wear their best outfits to church on Mother's Day, as all women are honored on this day. Attached are pictures of mamas from the orphanage, all decked out in their pretty church clothes. These ladies know how to dress. I usually feel a little dowdy next to the colorful dresses, high heels, glittering earrings, matching head wraps, large necklaces, big hand bags...It's a bit much for me, a simple Dutch girl.

At the village, Mother's day is treated as a  holiday! The tables are set with tablecloths, matching napkins, and fresh flowers picked from the jungle. Handmade cards and small gifts are set at the mothers' places at supper. A special meal is served (like Jolliff Rice with Chicken, or Spare Ribs with Rice), and cake is served for dessert. 

All the children at the village made Mother' Days cards for their mamas. Many hearts and flowers and butterflies (plus a few cars and space ships) were carefully drawn, and sweet sentiments were written inside the card. My favorite sentiments were "Happy Moter Day" and "Happy Day to You" and "Mama, You are all Right!" One little boy wrote a heartfelt note: "Mama, I will try to be good." The kids colored their best and the children vowed to not tell the mamas that they made anything special for them. (Right! Like anyone can keep a secret here!)

It was a fun day, filled with excitement and love. I, too, received some cards from children. One girl wrote "I pray for God to make you strange and healthy." Dave tells me that her prayers have been answered.

And I wish a "Happy Day to You!"


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Taxi Wisdom

Here are the latest life philosophies being proclaimed on Liberian roads these days: