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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another word about food...

One of the features of the workshop is the wonderful hot lunch served by the home Economics Teacher - Miss Valerie. Every day at noon she arrives with a serving crew bearing enomous cook pots full of rice and huge plastic pots full of dishes, eating utensils, etc. It is an amazing thing to watch as they set up and begin serving heaping plates of rice and chicken, fish or both. The smoked chicken is a particular favorite of mine and it is delectable.

On the second day of the workshop when I met my new friends we invited them to lunch and they arrived at noon ready to eat. I filled up one plate for them to share as instructed by my Liberian hosts and, also as instructed, took 3 spoons and the heaping single plate outside and put it on a ledge by the porch for the three little girls. The school day for young childen ends around noon time here and by the time I got out there with the food, several more younger children had stopped by on their way home from a neighboring school. Attracted by the sight of teachers eating their lunch on the library steps and porch, passing children were drawn irresistably to the cluster around the "children's" plate. Without a word of squabble or argument every child found a place around the plate and they began eating quietly. The three spoons were passed among themselves with each taking a bite and passing it to the child next to them, eating with their little hands in between spoonfuls. They were clearly very, very happy. When I went to check a few minutes later, another group of little children was clustered around yet another plate that had been set on the ground for them by one of the teachers. Some of the teachers were saving half of their own lunch and emptying it onto the two plates for the children.

Mrs. Allen, one of the lott Carey Principals told me that most of the time children do not eat but once a day in the evening. They arrive to school with no breakfast, go home around noon with no lunch and eat in the evening when their parents arrive home and can prepare a rice meal. This week the children have arrived every single day in time for lunch and play time afterward. The training ended yesterday and today the regular school routine resumes for Lott Carey students. No more lunches on the library steps and it is difficult for us to to think of the children going all day with no food and arriving at school in the morning in their clean, starched uniforms ready to study on empty tummies.

4 comments:

  1. Beth and family
    Have thoroughly enjoyed your Blog
    Gary and I miss you here at Local 26
    Have a safe return home
    See you soon
    B and G

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  2. Looks like your livin a dream.


    Rich

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  3. Dear Aunt Beth,

    I have stolen a quick minute to catch up on the blog, I have just given Remi her dinner and she is happly enjoying her pot roast while I finish her dinner for Tom and I and to read your description of the children sharing their little meal is so sweet yet in the end to read that they will then be hungry tomorrow makes me so sad......

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  4. Beth, hearing the story about the little children passing a spoon to each other to share their food really touched my heart. Even though they are hungry, they unselfishly take care of each other. Those children remind me of part of the Lord's Prayer, "on earth as it is in heaven". I think that we, in this country, can learn a lot from those little children in Liberia. God Bless you all. Marti

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