Monday, 28 January 2013

Modern Liberia

Someone called blk24ga has posted 1776 photos of Liberia on Panoramio. It may be one of the poorest capital cities in the world, but Monrovia now boasts a huge advertising screen outside the Ministry of Finance:

...a chicken restaurants that boasts "the love of chicken brought us here"... amazing new American Embassy building:

...and a coastguard cutter:

blk24ga managed to get into some very restricted areas, and shows many photos of the President: I can only assume that she was working for the President's office. Some great pictures. Olly

Friday, 25 January 2013

Lost in translation...again

I've just noticed that SKD Boulevard in Monrovia is described as "Eskady" Road by Google Maps. Hah. Wonder how that happened. Olly

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Salt making - continued

On 7th November 2009 I made the following blog entry whilst we were in Benin, West Africa.
Making salt
Across the lagoon from Babs Dock is a very weird landscape:

Dominique told me it is where locals make salt during the dry season. The sand is rich in salt - it is placed in the baskets, and fresh water is poured through to wash the salt out into the collecting bowl below. The salt-rich water is then boiled away over cooking fires, and the salt is collected.

However, like most ingenious things in West Africa there are drawbacks. The cooking fires use up huge amounts of wood, resulting in local deforestation. And the "home-made" salt is iodine-free, so many local people suffer from conditions due to a lack of iodine in their diets, such as Thyroid conditions and goiters. Olly
Today, 19th January 2013, the BBC News website Africa in pictures had the following entry:

Africa in pictures: 11-17 January 2013 
Women salt diggers collect top soil in the village of Djegbadji near Ouidah in Benin. Afterwards 
they will filter water through the soil to draw out salt and later boil the water to collect the salt 
to sell.

BBC, are you copying my blog (in exchange for all the things I copy from your websites I guess?) Olly

Friday, 18 January 2013

First snow

Overnight we received the first substantial snowfall since we returned to the UK 18 months ago. It is also Libby's first snow! She loved it, and managed to play outside for an hour without getting too cold and wet.

So Libby joins the ranks of the many Liberians now living in the complete opposite to the climate she was born in. D'you know that one of the largest communities of Liberians living outside Africa is found in Minnesota, one of the coldest and snow-bound states in the US. Olly

"Tim Hetherington, his life and death"

There's a brilliant article on the BBC New's website today about the life and death of Tim Hetherington, a British war correspondent who I met in Liberia in 2005. In 2003 he lived with the LURD rebel soldiers in Liberia, filming their advance on Monrovia, which you can see in the movie documentary "Liberia; An Uncivil War" which is available in 4 parts on YouTube. He was killed in Libya in 2011. For full article click here. Olly

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Africa Mercy on Google Earth

I found the Africa Mercy on Google Earth at last! Taken whilst the ship was in Lome, Togo, during the first half of 2012. 


Friday, 11 January 2013

A Missionary Kid in a British school

Our Anna - a missionary kid for 8 years - was asked to compose something today in R.E. similar to what Matthew would have written about Jesus, so she wrote down the words to Chris Tomlin's "Our God" from heart...and received a "brilliant" from her teacher, who had never heard of Tomlin and didn't recognise the song. Ha! How we laughed when Anna told us about it when she got home. Olly

Thursday, 10 January 2013

More BBC website photos of Liberia

These two photos appeared on the BBC News website today, "On the Road in Africa". Click here to go to the original article. 

"""This is Broad Street in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, photographed by Cecil at night from his hotel window."

"Hubert Simmer took this photo in Liberia. "I like this picture because of the inscription on the car, as well as because of the condition the car was in at that particular moment," she says, "And, last not least, these people can still smile at the worst circumstances." "

Monday, 7 January 2013

Sand mining in Sierra Leone

There is a great article with slideshow on today's BBC News in Pictures website - click here to follow the link. It seems sand mining is a problem in any coastal West African country with a recovering economy - I have already blogged previously about sand mining in Liberia and Togo. Sure, it's great that there is a building boom, but the effects are appalling with terrible damage done by erosion caused when a beach is literally removed, as the photo below illustrates: