Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday 10/25/2011

Good Afternoon
Many of you have asked for pictures, so I will begin to add some to the blogs.  So far it has taken me at least a half hour to add this one, but I am sure as I become more adept it will not take as long.
This is  picture of our home.  In the very front is "my porch" off our bedroom.  You can also see the front porch that leads into the living area and behind that is the car port.  My intent is to take them from various angle so you can get an idea of the size of the house.

At the present time I am on "my porch" observing the goings on around me.  Grandson Koyo is home from school and reluctantly getting water for the house.  To my left, a young man is climbing the coconut palm barefoot with a machete in his moutn and cutting down several coconuts.  They fall to the gound with quite a thud.   Daughter Patient is in the kitchen cooking groundpea soup for supper, Timothy is taking a nap because he had no place to go today. 
 Son Jonathan is out purchasing tile, cement, and a commode to work on the second bathroom so it will be in a decent condition for guests.  It was deplorable and I didn't even want the children using it.  Jonathan and his helpers took a sledge hammer to it a couple of days ago knocking down the old bathtub, tile and flooring.  Tomorrow they will finish the walls, add new tile, rebuild the bathtub, lay floor tile and install a new commode.  The entire remodeling will cost about $500.00 USD.  Yesterday he did his part of the work on the pantry.  I found that kitchen supplies were stored all over the house and no one special place.  Since Timothy had a small room that was designed as a half bath that was never finished we decided to turn it into a pantry.  Jonathan finished all the walls and floor yesterday.  Today, Son Jackie who is the carpenter has been gathering the supplies to put up shelving and add a door.  When he is finished, Jonathan will take leftover floor tile from the bathroom and finish the floor.  After it is whitewashed, it will be finished and ready to receive the dishes, cooking pans, and other items.  How wonderful to be able to go to one place for everything pertaining to the kitchen.  Last night,I introduced Patient to hot pads in the kitchen.  They either use their bare hands or a towel to remove pans fron the heat.  She thought the hot pads were really nice.  We laughed that someday we might have a real American kitchen.

Koyo just brought me fresh coconut from the trees.  He likes the coconut milk and I like the coconut meat so we shared.  Rolf decided that he liked coconut meat as well.  Koyo also brought $200.00 Liberian dollars from the boy who was cutting the coconuts.  That is not quite $3.00 USD but will almost be enough to buy Koyo the sandals he has been eyeing for the past week.  I told him if he countinued to help without being told, I would buy them for him by the end of the month.  A Liberian form of allowance.

Last night I fixed spaghetti sauce for supper and we put it over rice.  The ground beef was $7.00 for 2 pounds, green pepper $1.75, onion 3 small ones for $1.00, 2 cans diced tomatoes at $1.00 a can and regular sauce for $2.75 a jar.  I added garlic salt and basil to it along with some hot Liberian pepper for seasoning.  The children all loved it and of course want me to fix it again.  It will be a meal saved for special occasions, maybe for Thanksgiving.  I understand they also like regular spaghetti pasta and haved learned that it is fixed with cucumbers, onion and Miracle Whip.

At the same time we were shopping at the supermarket, Timothy wanted a new weed whip to cut the grass here at the house.  A weed whip is similar to a machette but the tip is longer and curves out at an angle.  Sort of like an L shape.  It has a wooden handle like a knife and is swung to cut the grass and weeds.  A Liberian lawn mower.  I was concerned about the price, but was amazed to find the price was only $2.50. 

Sunday several of the grandchildren were here and it was a bit chaotic.  I can handle one or two at a time but not an entire house full.  Sunday night everyone was gone and the days have been peacefilled ever since.  We continue to gather for the story time each evening.  Last night it was Hansel and Gretel and tonight is Aladden and the Magic Lamp.  They have caught on that there is either a wicked step mother or wicked witch in each story.  This time also helps them to understand my English as I begin to develop my ear for their English as well.

Day is drawing to a close, evening meals are being prepared, children are coming home from school in their different uniforms and others are coming home from work.  Soon supper will be eaten , baths taken and the sun goes down on another day.

Peace and joy,

Timothy and Anne

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday 10/22/2011

Good afternoon,
It is a typical Saturday just like in Indiana. 
I have done the laundry and it is drying on the clothesline in the carport.
The room has been tidied up and swept for the day - well until before I go to bed.  I cannot stand to walk on the sand that is carried in when I have bare feet and I certainly do not want to carry it into the bed with me.

The boys, Jonathan, Jackie, and grandson, Koyo have been cutting the grass around the house with a whipper.  I tried to go out and show them how long to leave it so they wouldn't cut it clear off into the ground.  That was a great laugh for all since I couldn't get the swing down right and kept cutting the air.

We have had visitors today, family members and friends have been stopping by to greet us.  It is quite different here.  They will come and stay for several hours.  Conversation comes and goes and most of it is in dialect or Liberian English.  I have difficulty being still for all that time so am generally up and down several times.

I helped daughter Patient, fix lunch/dinner.  Bitter ball, pepper, fish and chicken feet in a soup over rice.  I ate the soup without the fish and chicken fish and then came and got peanut butter and bread.  That has become my staple food when the Liberian diet is more than I can handle.

Seven of the grandchildren are here and they continue to "Grandma, Grandma" me.  I can retreat to the porch for awhile and they will entertain themselves.  Darlington's arm is healing much better and he is beginning to bend it more.  He broke it last year and it was not set properly.  When we were here in February it had an ugly infection that has since cleared up.  His brother, Roosevelt "Teddy", and sister, Annie, are here to visit overnight.  Candy Girl stays here most of the time and when it is just her, we have a great time together.  However, when she is with a group of others, she tends to try our patience. 

Grandson Koyo (15 years) is watching our seeds closely.  He brings the containers in at night and puts them out each morning and makes sure that they are watered.  The herbs are beginning to grow, but the tomatoes have yet to poke trough the ground.  I promised him that next week we would plant flower seeds at the front of the house.  They will be protected enough from the hot sun that they should grow well.  Nice hardy annuals like marigolds and zinnias.  I also have some tall sunflower seeds to plant.  They should cause some comment in the community.   They are getting used to this strange American lady and her ways.

I talked to our carpenter son, Jackie today about adding shelves to the room that we will use as a pantry.  We are accumulating several kitchen items and need one place to keep them rather than putting them in sleeping rooms.  He will put ceiling tile up, shelving, and a door.  Then everything will be in one place.

The shipping boxes are all stacked in our bathroom and I have been slowly unpacking them, sorting and repacking some of the items.  Today I found the box with all the hangers in it so we can begin to hang our clothes in the wardrobe on the rods that son Jonathan put in for us.  Slowly, very slowly, this will become home.

We have received no word today from Ghana about daughter Chris so we figure things are about the same.  Since the season is beginning to change here and the cooler winds come in at night (it may get down to mid-70's) people are getting colds and not feeling well.  Personally I like the cooler nights and can cover up with a sheet.  Once in awhile, I do pull up the quilt for a little more.

As I write, we can hear the traffic up and down the road and pick-ups with  loudspeakers proclaiming their candidates for the run-off election to be held in November.  The election on the 11th was like our May election where you will declare your party affiliation and vote for only those on your party ballot.  Then in the runn-off election, it is like our November election where you can vote for any candidate of your choice among the top votegetters from the earlier election.

Today I wear my Western Marching Panther Pride t-shirt to honor my Grandson, Riley who is competing in the Indiana State Marching Band Semi-finals.  They will be performing in a couple of hours and I may even stay up late to view the post to see that they have won another gold medal to go onto the Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Love and hugs to all.
Anne and Timothy

Friday, October 21, 2011


Good afternoon.
It is about 80 degrees out and a storm is brewing.  The black clouds are rolling in the we can hear the thunder rumbling around us.  We are out on the porch with Little Luther (3 years) and Rolf.  Both of them are down for much needed naps.  Rolf is upset because Luther has one of his blankets.  Rolf keeps sneaking over to remove it and carry to where he is.  Koyo and Candy Girl just came home from school and Patience will not be far behind. 

Yesterday we called the shipping company about the 4 boxes that were to come in.  When we arrived, not only were there 4 boxes but all the other boxes that we have sent.  It took three trips in the car to get them all home.  Now it is a matter of sorting though them gleaning what we are able to use now and what we must save for later.

Rolf is really getting into this diet change.  Last night we had bitter ball soup with chicken legs and feet (ugh) and some fish.  He wolfed that down and this morning he was eating orange seeds.  Timothy is giving him a orange now to eat.  He has decided that is yummy as well.

Last night the children were sitting on the porch and when I went out they were climbing all over my lap.  I got my Kindle and read them a fairy tale.  By the time I was finished children and youth from the neighborhood were there listening.  They were so engrossed that I will now be reading a story each night to them.  Somewhere in my books is a children's bible story book.  That will be my next source of reading material for them.  Learning all their names is a tough one, but as they are around, it will be easier to remember them.

As for comments you might want to leave or questions you may want to ask.  At the end of each blog is a place that reads "Comments" and the number posted.  If you click on that, it will direct you to a page that reads at the bottom "Post Comment".  There you may do so and I will be able to read them.

The rain has begun, the babies are asleep, and all is well in Liberia.

Peace and joy,

Anne and Timothy

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday 10/20/11

Good morning.
Another hot and steamy day today.  We are waiting for our neighbor to finish her laundry so we can borrow her laundry tub to do ours.  Laundry must be done everyday or it builds up and can really wear you down trying to keep up.

Timothy went to his finance/marketing class yesterday.  He left at 10:30 am and got home about 7:30 pm.  His class runs from 1-4 p m.  That is how difficult it is to get around in the traffic or to find a taxi or bus to make your way home.

I stayed at home sorting, sorting, and more sorting.  As we have discovered items we have shipped and set them aside, somehow they got repacked and we are not able to locate them.  In time, it will all work out.

Little man Luther is a mischevious 3 year old who, when he does something he is not to be doing, looks up at you and just grins from ear to ear when he is corrected.  It can annoy me greatly as he knows exactly what he is doing.  It can be comical at times, but not always.

Zayzay stopped by yesterday to tell me more about his work as an agricultural specialist.  He is helping farmers set up bee hives as the time has come for them to colonize.  They will not move during rainy season (who can blame them) but now that it is drying out, they are starting to come together.  Some of the farmers who started with a few hives are now wanting to add more.  Zayzay will give them the hive, set it up, and give them a bee suit.  After they harvest their first crop of honey and sell it to us, we will deduct the cost of the startup from their money.  The same is being done with the irrigation system, seeds, fertilizer and pesticides.  In a few years time, they will become very productive.  We are very postive about the future of these projects.  Incidentally, Mozart from UMCOR is working with Zayzay on these sustainable agriculture projects.  I am trying to find out if any of the Pine Creek Cluster money has been used for this project.

Koyo finally went back to school today and has not returned to the house this morning.  I gave him money for a new uniform shirt so that he would not be put out again.  He told me yesterday that he wants to be an electrician when he finishes school.  It would be very nice to have an electrician in the family to add to our carpenter and mason.  He has taken his responsibility for the seeds very seriously - at least for the past 2 days.

Candy Girl (Jeff's daughter) comes everyday after school and greets me.  I try to save her some bread to eat because like any other child she is very hungry.  We talk about her day and she plays with Rolf.  I want to start working with the flash cards with her on math facts.

My namesake, Annie Seedee, came by on Tuesday to see me after school.   She went home telling her mother about Rolf,  They both came last night to visit.  When she is here, she is very shy but in time I know she will talk to the point I will want her to stop.  They ate with us, pumpkin soup (butternut squash)  with chicken on rice.  Delicious!  Rolf really liked it as well and ate his first Liberian food with much relish.

Please continue to pray for Chris.  She called today.  She needed blood transfusions, but when they tried to give them, they were not able to get the iv going for the transfusion.  They have been giving her injections to raise her blood production level.   She cannot undergo surgery until she gets built up.  The Doctors have run more test and it will be 3 weeks before they have the results.  Meanwhile, they are sending her home from the hospital once again.  Our fear is that her health has deteriorated to the point that surgery is not going to be possibility and they will make her comfortable.  Timothy is beginning to understand and the Doctors were attempting to comfort Chris.  It is heartbreaking.

Take care my friends.
Anne and Timothy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 2

Greetings from sunny WARM Liberia.
The temperature was a balmy 85 degrees today with a slight breeze.  It was a wonderful day to do laundry, so I did just that.  Alphonso was home from school because they were putting new zinc on the roof, so he helped me.  I am going to have to toughen up a little bacause I rubbed blisters on my knuckles scrubbing the clothes.  Did you know that red cooking oil does not come out of clothes easily?  From now on we will wear bibs when eating it.  However, the greens were really tasty.

I found the tomato and herb seeds that I had sent over, so Alphonso and I planted them.  He wanted to take the responsibility for bringing them in at night and watering them daily.  When I got up this morning, I found that he had already done it.  It is difficult to find things that he is interested in doing.  His desire is not to go to school and he will find all kinds of reasons not to go.  However, he may learn that school is better than working hard all day.

Son Jonathon worked on putting up rods in the closet today.  One long rod across the top of the closet and another shorter one half way down.  Then, Timothy can hang his shirts and pants in half the space that they would take if we only had one rod.  Jonathon worked very hard and has now started working on the second bathroom so it will be suitable for guests.  There is so much to be done, however, we are taking it one day at a time.

Timothy purchased a car so he would have transportation rather than take public transportation all the time.  Jeff loaned it to a friend who in turn had an accident.  The car is now totaled, money has to be paid to the woman for the damage to her car, the friend is not to be found, and Jeff is working to pay the debt.    Hopefully he has paid enough of the debt that he can get the car released from the police station and sell it for scrap to give him enough money to clear the debt.  One good thing to come of this is that we do have license plates in hand to go on the Rav 4. It has been a hard lesson for the two of them to learn and they both are embarrassed about telling me what happened.  Why was I not surprised?

Today Timothy has gone to his classes at LEAD, the children are in school, and I am here at the house.  I want to go through some more things and maybe work on something like my socks or needlework.  It is warm but there is a slight breeze to keep you cool.

Rolf is adjusting slowly.  He has made friends with Survivor (the other dog in the house) and tried Liberian food.  It did not set well on his stomach so we will work to wean him to it little bit by little bit.  People come by the house to see him and are afraid because of his color and his size.  It is interesting to watch their reactions.

That is all for today, love and hugs to all.
Anne and Timothy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We have arrived

The computer is still giving me trouble as this is the third time I have tried to post to the blog.

We arrived Sunday afternoon, tired but safe and sound.  Poor Rolf mananged to chew through his travel case and could not wait to be released to do his doggie duty after all that time.  He does not like flying but loved looking and smelling everything on the trip to the house.
He is  quite the celebrity here.  The comments range from "he is so short and so long"," that is all the bigger he is going to get?" and "he is so shiny".  The boys like to take him for walks around the area.

We slept the clock around and woke fairly refreshed.

Our day Monday was filled by traveling into town (3 hours round  trip travel time) for a bit of shopping for groceries and other necessities for the house.  I can see now that I will probably go only once a week and do everything at one time.

We also spent some time emptying the boxes that I had shipped early for Timothy.   We sorted and then repacked some of them.  We found the towels, sheets and other things I had sent ahead.  We are living out of one room at the present time, however, I hope that that cease pretty soon.

Today Jonathon is putting up our clothes rod in the closet.  Then we will be able to empty the suitcases and hang some things up.  That will certainly create some needed space in our room.

Chris is having her surgery today in Ghana and Blamoh has been good about keeping us informed about her treatment.  We are continuing to be optomistic.  The Doctors in Ghana did rule out AIDS.  The cancer caused her blood readings to appear to be AIDS but it is not.  For this, we thank God!

There is much to so and we are beginning to prioritize our needs, finances and time to accomodate this adjustment.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers and we will continually do the same for you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Safe arrival

Mom and Rolf arrived safely!
Mom called this afternoon to let me know that she and Rolf arrived safely.  As soon as the internet is functioning again, she will post an update and fill everyone in on all the excitement of the travel!
I was glad to hear from her! :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Good morning - Saturday 10/15

After a fitful night of "sleeping", Alan woke me up to give me a hug and good wishes.  Riley followed later as they left at the wee hours of 4:30 am for the Marching Band Regionals being held at Chersterton today.  It is hard to realize that this day has finally arrived after months of planning and preparation.

Soon Kelly and Bob will take us to the airport to begin the journey across the ocean to our new home in Liberia.

Many thanks to all of you who have been praying for us.  We will continue to pray for you and ask that you continue to pray for us.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ready to go

Rolf has had his bath, Timothy has been notified of the time we will arrive and Kelly/Bob are here to take me to the airport tomorrow.  It has been quite an experience this year in preparing to retire, moving out of the Ambia house, taking the car to Minnesota, and moving in with Alan/Lisa/Riley for 3 1/2 months.
The time with my family has been such a blessing,  There has been an opportunity to spend more than just a few hours visiting.  Brother Bob and his wife, Suzanne, live in Texas.  They came up during Labor Day and we traveled to Michigan to see Sister Marcia and her husband, Clem.  What fun to visit with them and re-establish a relationship again.
Now, the time has come to travel back to Liberia.  Timothy is excited for us to arrive and has talked about the caravan that is traveling to the airport to receive us.  Details have included brushing the grass around the house, getting the food prepared to my liking and his attire to greet us.
Rolf is not sure what is going on, but must remember about packing up the house to move here, for he is very nervous about what is going on.  He hates the carrier that he must travel in and will probably despise the diapers he will have to wear even more.  I have packed his blanket, favorite toy, treats, food and water cups to try to keep him as comfortable as possible.  He does get to travel in the cabin with me as carry-on luggage.
So much for the details of preparation and now it is time to continue the adventure.  Stay tuned for more adventures.


Test Post This should be an interesting blog to watch.