Friday, January 23, 2009

ReedNews Update: January

Weather: Heavy overcast and cold, with little snow in the past few days. About ten inches are on the ground. Slight breeze from the Northwest. Temps in the single digits at night, mid 20s in the day.

Wanted to get us all up to speed ala the Reeds on this frigid Friday morn. Some of you know that we left Liberia to begin new, regional responsibilities in Ghana. We remain in Grand Rapids, Michigan USA as we prepare for the move. Our work in Ghana will allow us to continue working with our friends in Liberia, as well as people in six other West African countries.

Renita will be the West African partnership manager for Partners Worldwide.(PW) She will support the existing work in Liberia begun by LEAD, and assist a group in Côte d'Ivoire as they begin the same kind of work. Partners also plans to work in Ghana eventually. The successful model for developing businesses that Renita helped to make work in Liberia has garnered interest in other West Africa nations, so being centrally located in the region makes sense.

Yers Trooly will be working with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee as the Justice Education Coordinator for the West Africa Ministry Team. I'm still trying to figure out how the position will flesh out, but it at least means acting as a resource person for CRWRC field workers and partners in areas like good governance, conflict transformation, reconciliation, family and gender-based violence. The countries currently included as CRWRC West Africa Team nations are Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. I think both Renita and I will be traveling around the region as part of our work

Hannah and Noah, currently doing great at a school called The Potter's House, will attend one of several schools in Accra, the capital city. We probably will be living in Accra or very close so our school commute will be reasonable.

The Reeds-- at least Renita, Hannah and Noah-- will likely be in Grand Rapids for the next six or seven months. Renita is applying for US citizenship, and the kids will be able finish the semester. I will likely leave for Ghana a it earlier, but it looks like I'll have to hang around at least until US Immigration interviews Renita. It is a bit weird ironic being here, in a place so familiar and at the same time wanting to go to a place we've never been to make a home. But we have plenty to do as we ready ourselves for new responsibilities in Ghana.

The following are pictures of Ghana taken by other travelers.

Independence Arch, celebrating the end of British colonial rule. Downtown Accra. Ghana was the first sub-saharan country to win independence from a colonial power.

Road side market.

Kids are kids...

...where ever you go... are grandmothers.