Monday, 30 April 2007

Photos of our kids

Some people have been asking what Noah (7), Anna (5) and Libby (2) look like here they are, in our front garden. They are thriving here in Liberia, are coping well with the heat and humidity, enjoy the freedom of home schooling and playing outside all year around, and of course living near the crystal clear ocean also has its advantages. But they continue to be bitten by fire ants and mosquitos, so we'd value your continuing prayers for their comfort, health and well being. Thanks. Olly

Electricity for all?

Today a team of men went down our road with chainsaws, cutting down all the wooden electricity pylons that make up the redundant Liberian national grid. We are very excited that this may be the first step in the electrification of our road - but the chainsaw men just assure us that pylons are rotting and need to be cut down. We remain positive though. Olly

My first proposal

The time has come, after 6 months in Liberia, for me to try to write my first proposal for fundraising. I am applying for $250,000 from the World Bank, to rebuild 24 bridges and rehabilitate 24 wells on an 88 km stretch of neglected highway in rural Nimba County and River Cess County. If funded, the project will only run for 8 weeks but will provide much needed employment for 210 labourers and will provide access to nearly 30 villages and small towns that are otherwise completely isolated for nearly 4 months during the rainy season, when the malnutrition, illness and death rate rise considerably. Please pray with me that this proposal is successful. Olly

Tree-house Youth Alpha Course

This weekend two incredible things happened at our house: I finally got around to building a tree house for Noah and Anna (which I have been promising them for the last 6 months, I am such a bad dad!), and we hosted the Mercy Ships Youth Alpha Course awayday at our house. We had nine extra people staying over night - 7 Brits and 2 Faroe Islanders - and we had a wonderful time. We were dreading the invasion of sulky teanagers, but instead they were all lively and funny young people who enjoyed chatting to Sally and me, and playing with the children. In the process, maybe another record has been set for unusual places for Alpha Courses - I bet this is the first one that took place in a tree house (in part, anyway). Pictured: Noah, Anna & Libby before the teenage invasion. Olly

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Sunset on the beach

Undoubtedly, one of the benefits of living in Monrovia is the closeness to some wonderful beaches. Twenty minutes drive away from us is a beach where we often take a picnic tea, and play in the sea as the sun sets. No matter how hot or tiring our day has been, an evening on the beach cools us right down and puts everything into perspective. Olly

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Phew, what a scorcher!

Liberian folklaw tells us that at this time of year the sun grows more aggressive as it realises its days are numbered by the imminent arrival of the we are experiencing some serious heat right now - daily indoor temperatures of 34 degrees centigrade which drop overnight to 31 (instead of the 28 we are used to). Thank the Lord that we have generators that keep going throughout the dark to keep fans on us as we sleep. Today we retreated to the pool and air conditioned dining hall of the Anastasis for a few hours before heading home again. We are very excited about the imminent arrival of the rains, where both temperature and humidity drop and maybe we will be able to sleep under duvets again. Olly

Thursday, 19 April 2007

People think I'm crazy...

...because I remain a big fan of our ten year old Land Rover, despite its ancient design and lack of sophistication. Its capacity and strength constantly impress me - it can carry 10 people or 20 bags of cement or two full drums of fuel or ten bicycles or huge quantities of timber or...the list is endless. It is easy to fix, parts are easy to come by, it never rusts, and it makes a great climbing frame for the kids...But it really comes into its own when it goes off-road, when it effortlessly climbs over otherwise unpassable roads in low range. As the Liberians say, it is a "strong English car". But Sally doesn't agree with me and would rather be driving the air-conditioned Nissan thats on loan to her from a friend...Olly

Visitors from the UK

Between the 2nd and the 15th of April we hosted 9 friends and members of our home church from Luton in the UK, who were visiting Liberia to see some of the Equip projects for themselves, and also to do a bit of quick-impact work that will make a long term difference...we chose to paint a few rooms in an orphanage in the Monrovian here is a photo of Noah helping out. Olly

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

The street children of Monrovia

Every day, hundreds of orphaned and abandoned children walk the streets of Monrovia trying to sell their produce - peanuts, water, bananas, candy, doughnuts, whatever - often to take their earnings back to their younger siblings sheltering in burnt out and abandoned buildings. The street kids are at huge risk from road accidents, as they dodge through often heavy traffic to make their sales...and every day a few are injured. They are also increasingly at risk from violence, abduction and sexual assault. Please pray that they are saved from their desperate struggle soon, and for the work of missionaries, aid workers, government workers and the UN (UNICEF) who try daily to reach them. Olly

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Malnourished children - Part 2

Here is a photo of two 4-year old boys that live in up-country rural Ganta. The boy on the right is severly malnourished and has not grown, but his future is more secure now that he is on Equip Liberia's Emergency Feeding Program...Please pray for the malnourished, abandoned and abused children in Liberia, and the incredible life-saving work that Equip Liberia is doing with them. Olly

Malnourished children - Part 1

Here is a photo of a malnourished child with cerebral palsy that Sally met last week in rural up-country Ganta, who is now on emergency feeding program with Equip Liberia...She is 5 years old, although she is the size of a 6 month old. Her bleak future and certain death is less bleak thanks to Equip's volunteer Community Health Ambassadors who identified her needs, and now she has a chance to survive. Now the CHAs must try to educate and motivate her family into keeping her alive...Olly

Sand miners

Today I visited a beach near one of Equip's sites, where hundreds and hundreds of people are illegally removing sand to supply the Liberian construction industry. Each sack of sand is carried on the heads or shoulders of the miners - some sacks weigh as much as 100 kg (220 lbs) and are carried by muscular young ex-combatants, but other, much smaller sacks are carried by children, some as young as our Noah (7)...I can never get over how brutal life is here, that families have no alternative but to enslave their children to walk half a mile uphill carrying a back-breaking burden in order to earn a few dollars to buy food. These children are caked in sweat and sand and on the edge of collapse, and will suffer from back and neck complaints for the rest of their lives...Please pray for them. Olly

Monday, 16 April 2007

Monrovia City Dump

Today I made my weekly visit swampside, where City trucks dump tonnes of garbage each day before bulldozers push it into the swamp to dispose of it and reclaim land at the same time. Its always utterly heartbreaking to see the barefoot kids searching through the piles of fly and poo-poo ridden burning waste for anything of value. The stench is always unbearable, and I can't even begin to think about the daily health risks they are exposed to. Please pray for their safety and deliverence from this hell on earth...Olly

Sunday, 8 April 2007


Welcome to the Peet Family blog. I will endeaver to publish at regular(ish) intervals accounts of what we have recently been up to in Liberia, with photos...
In the meantime, here is an old family photo of us in May 2006 playing on an armoured car thoughtfully provided by the Ghanaian army. Olly