Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gone! Oh, gone...

She Left Me

Renita is gone. Left me Saturday. I can't really blame her. I know I'm kind of a bum. Of course, she didn't leave because of that, but I miss her anyway. She's gone for two long weeks, back to the works in Liberia and Cote d' Ivoire. In her role as regional director, she needs to maintain frequent contact with the activities in Ghana, Cote d' Ivoire, Liberia, and future West African Partners Worldwide collaborators. Our jobs both will take us away, individually, about six to eight weeks each annually. Unfortunately, though both of our jobs are regional, we never cross paths. Maybe someday back in Liberia.

This week, she is working in the northwestern hinterlands of Cote d' Ivoire, with her friends from ACLCP. ACLCP provides economic development assistance for the people in and around Danane and the 18 Mountains region. Once a center of Cote d' Ivoire's culture, the West of the country-- now governed by military groups or "rebels" operating under the banner French Nouvelles-- is becoming more stable after the recent troubles. ACLCP is a national NGO dedicated to giving Ivoirians the resources and tools necessary to stabilize communities and families as well.


Renita's part is to provide the same exceptional training that has proven so successful in Liberia with LEAD. The trainees will be community leaders, pastors and business people about managing and running a profitable venture. The full days of workshops run from today (Tuesday the 10th) until Saturday. The hitch-- Cote d' Ivoire is Francophone. The national language is French, so the entire training, including handouts, curriculum, visual aides, and power points had to be translated into French. So for the past few weeks that is what she's been doing. My wife, whose French is choppy at best, the French translator/trainer. Fortunately for her voice, a businessman from the states who is fluent in French will join her, plus the ACLCP staff will be doing the hard work of making it practical with follow up.

So back home, we muddle through without the Rock of Red Deer. I'm lonelier without her, but good things happen. I think I've mentioned it before, but when Renita's gone, the three of us seem to draw closer. We seem to look out for each other more. Predictably, we are less tidy around here with Mom gone, but the way we look at it, loosey-goosey is one of the compensations we get for being without her for so long. (Its very nice having Douglas here for three days each week. He covers a multitude of sins.)

Renita heads to Liberia next week, for all day meetings and planning with LEAD, the now model NGO she helped birth. See, she's got family all over the place, so I need to be thankful to get her when I can. Here are some shots of her world.

Rice. Nice.

In Danane. This hill is probably made of near solid iron ore.

Her host 's homey home.

The workshop opens. Next week, she's back in Liberia.

Extra! This just in! Her first Email!

Hi hon. Hope you are doing well. I got in last night after a loonngg drive from Ganta to Danane. The road was very bad, we had to wait for the taxi to fill up, the taxi had no brakes (thankfully got them fixed on the way), dealt with many immigration stops, had some issues at the border, and then had a very bumpy ride in Cote d'Ivoire. Today's training was okay - about what I expected. Some good things, some frustrating things.

There is a line up for the internet - it's 10 pm now and everyone is weary so I don't dare hog it too long.

Hope you are all doing well. I miss you and love you very much.

Hopefully I can write more tomorrow.



Weather: Mid 90sF-- Mid 30sC. Hot and bright Tuesday, less humid with a light breeze from the SW. Nighttime lows in the mid 80sF. Thunderstorms to the north, but very little rain here.