Friday, May 5, 2017

Last Days, Beach Day

Thursday & Friday, May 4-5, 2017

We woke up to pouring rain.  The window is closing to complete all these projects, so hopefully they will have moments in between rain showers to get some work done.  Sure enough, in the afternoon it stopped, so the guys rode up again to see that the walls had been poured in concrete at the Mende well project.

When they returned to see progress, they found all the walls poured, even after heavy rains this morning.  

         Kids goofing off in the Mende area.

Sister Carley and I worked on her papers at the mission office as she needed advice on turning in an area project.  Jim also helped her with the money aspect of it, figuring out payment schedules.  They will be doing desks for 6 of the neediest schools in the Kenema area where Jonathan and Amarachi, our good friends, live.  They (Jonathan & Amarachi) are now a registered NGO and this will be their first actual job in that capacity.  Sister Carley said that they recently completed building a bridge in Kenema for the city, and said it was beautifully done.  Besides the desks their NGO will be employing a few people, some young men to build the desks, some to weld as there will be an iron base to some of them, and one site monitor.  Amarachi has apparently been visiting a great many schools, determining which ones were the neediest, so she had been working for a couple of months before turning in the request to build school desks.  We wish them well.

And speaking of our friends, they drove all the way from Kenema just to visit with us, staying with Jonathan’s brother-in-law John Blackie, who also happens to be one of the site monitors for the spring capture water project.  They brought with them their two boys and Alberta, the girl that they have raised since infancy, who actually is the daughter of John Blackie and his wife, who at the time could not care for her as they didn’t have work.  John Blackie also has a ton of relatives living with them full time, only they have a much smaller house—3 rooms. 

Our good friends the Cobinah’s with three of their children: Jim, JC (Jonathan Jr) and Alberta.  They now have 9 living with them.  They drove up from Kenema so that we could visit this weekend.  We found a place outside the hotel where we could visit and eat. 

This is the last day that we were with E/S Carley, who will be returning home in November.  They are going on a couples’ retreat with the Mission President, his wife, and all the couples serving in Sierra Leone.  While in the office we were able to secure our ride to church on Sunday with the office couple E/S Miner, and our ride back to the water so that we can fly back to Accra before heading for home.

Friday the Cobinah’s arrived about 10 AM, bringing with them more extended family—Martha, John Blackie’s oldest daughter and Amarachi (Jr.) their youngest.  They also brought Jessica who for most of her years was raised by Amarachi and then went to live with her natural mother (Jonathan’s sister), and ended up living with John Blackie and family when she could no longer care for her.  Blackie’s wife is also the sister of Jessica’s mother.  Are you confused yet?
They arrived with a little rain, but we headed to the beach with all the little ones crowded in the back of the SUV.  While at the beach they changed into clothes that would allow them to play in the water.  They were really dressed up nicely before we got there.  The three oldest girls, Martha, Jessica and Alberta, played in the shore break with Jim watching over them.  He was very surprised to learn that they had never done this before!  Jessica was particularly brave.  Little Amarachi was so terrified of the beach that she would not even go near it.  After a time we purchased P & J, bread, sodas, water, potato chips and cookies and went back to the hotel.  During this time Amarachi was feeling ill from a cold/flu she’s had for a week and so she slept in our room while we all watched over the kids.  By early afternoon they departed for home.  Tomorrow just mom and dad will be coming for their last visit.  The little boys are still very little, and the older girls will be watching them.

Martha, Alberta & Jessica acting like pros during their first time playing in the surf.  

While there we watched the fisherman bring in their catch.  It rained only once during our beach day, clearing up later and ending up rather sunny.

Our trip is winding down…

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