Liberia 2017

Kwendin #10 | February 25, 2017

It's Saturday. I've been home all day and it has been a nice break. The pressure cooker is percolating along with today's rooster--that chicken survived a few extra days because of other scheduling issues. Kate butchered this one too--she's now become an expert, having done two.

We sent Kristie, Bob and Spencer off to Tappita this morning about 10 to discharge all our patients. Apparently they are all doing well and we will see them this coming week in the clinic. Bob had some shopping to do--he wanted some paint for the house he is fixing up, and a few other things. The painter was here this morning and Bob asked him to come next week once he had the paint.

Kristie continues to seek out local food to experience Liberia to the max. Today she got some roasted peanuts, and our friend George bought some dried fish ("bony fish") which she was happy to try. She was amazed to learn that the custom here is never to eat the papery skins on the peanuts--they have techniques to get the skins off before you eat your peanuts. Contrast that with the voracious consumption of anything vaguely resembling protein--when we slaughter a chicken, our friends take away the head, the feet, the skin, the giblets--everything goes into a stew. But don't eat the peanut skins!

Kate and I stayed home. She did some reading but spent much of the morning playing catch with the little kids here.  I finally coaxed her inside with some fresh cut pawpaw and we had a simple lunch together of bread and peanut butter and fruit.

I spent the morning working on solar panels. I have a set of 2 which had a short wire, and we cannabilized some unused wire from the house next door so I could splice it in. Now those 2 can be up on the roof and the wire reaches down to our batteries for recharging.

There was a third panel which I wanted to splice in as well, but it doesn't produce enough voltage to charge a battery. I was unable to figure out what is wrong with it--checked out wires and connections but so far it just seems to be burned out. I'll look at it a bit more before I actually throw it away.

The team came home at lunch time with various goodies from Bob's shopping. Interestingly they brought the first batch of bananas this trip--someone in Kwendin gave them to them on the way through.

Kate and Spencer and I went for a bit of a walk around the school buildings here. The buildings are in pretty good shape, although they do need some repairs. Lots has been done. But the school is not taking the initiative to develop and expand. People are talking about the steps that would be needed and I wonder how long before it happens. There needs to be strong leadership here on the ground. But there is tremendous potential to rebuild this school. It was a hot walk.

Supper was chicken and rice and some canned veggies. But the before supper snack was some deep fried plantain and I cut up a pineapple. then for dessert I cut up some ripe plantain, which is actually very good eating once it is ripe enough. And we sat and talked. I am suprprised at how open this team is in sharing what is in their hearts--it is a blessing. A blessing to all of us.

We started to hear some thunder, and Spencer walked out the front door to take a look. by then it was dark, and he called us out to watch. There was a thunderstorm passing by, estimated 6km away, and the sky was dancing with the lightning. I tried to catch some of it on video but I don't think it worked. We watched for maybe half an hour. Kate asked for popcorn but we don't have any. I did find some cookies we shared around. Disappointingly the rain passed us by, but there is the promise of more rain to come sometime in the next few weeks.

I'll try and send this now that the light show is over.

Dr. John Potts