One week is in the books here. I've started working occasionally with the services division of ELWA. The plan was to start late this week, early next week and have the current interim director show me how things function here. Steve has been here for a couple months and was planning on staying through the end of May (he was also here through most of the 70's 80's and 90's).
Those plans changed though when Steve's wife Carol woke up Sunday morning with eye problems. They both left for Abidjan, Ivory Coast Sunday afternoon, then onto the US to have doctors reattach her retina. Carol won't be able to travel for 3+ months so Steve's return is uncertain. I'll be working with the ELWA staff to try to get up to speed now.
I went with a couple of the Liberian services guys to the hardware store on Tuesday. We needed some electrical supplies to make a few modifications in our house. On the way back we stopped along the roadside to buy a bag of cement so I could secure a rebar cage around an outdoor AC unit. While we were waiting for a receipt I walked over to a young Liberian boy (about a year old) and said hi to him. The boy SCREAMED and leaped towards some older children while giving me a terrified look. Every time I looked at him he would grasp for one of the other children. I found out later that Liberian mothers often threaten their children with "if you don't do this/that the white man will come eat/get you".
Here's a picture of our water filter. It is a plastic bucket with a sediment filter, that then drains down through an iodine filter into the lower bucket. ELWA's water is actually pretty clean. They had it tested and it came back cleaner than the local bottled water. I'm not sure if that means our water is good or the bottled water is that bad. Some of the missionaries here drink it straight from the tap but we've been using our filter system so far.
We brought over a weather station from the states. So far the temperature has been in the upper 80's/low 90's with humidity between 60 and 99%
On the way to the downtown area of Monrovia you pass the University of Liberia. There are always lots of classes outside under the trees.
We stopped at a very modern aluminum window manufacturer to get a quote on new windows for our house.
Here is a less modern approach to construction. As they typically do in many areas around the world, they are using sticks for falsework to hold up their concrete forms for the next floor.
Some nice looking Cat equipment being sold along the road. It is surprising to see this big equipment when laborers can be hired for $90/month.
Here's another very new and modern building. It is part daycare and part apartments.
Across the road from ELWA is Rock Hill. Men, women and children work breaking large rocks into gravel.
Christopher and Kobe are getting used to the heat. They braved some time playing basketball on the court next to our neighbor's house.