News from Riana

April 12, 2006 9:54pm

News Riana Zietsman is a member of our fellowship currently doing a short-term missions trip in Liberia, serving with David Waines and Equip. Here is a recent update from her...

Hello Everybody,

For those of you who have not heard through the grapevine, I have arrived safely here in Liberia. It took a little longer then expected due to an engine failure on our plane in Brussels. I ended up having to spend an extra night in Brussels as the airline tried to arrange alternate flights. Like they say, It's better to be on the ground wishing you are in the air, then in the air wishing you where on the ground :)

I am living in the only Capital City in the world that does not have electricity, and I do not have running water. You may be asking yourself "How does she shower, wash clothes or work"? When I figure it out, I'll let you know. In all seriousness it's not that bad. It's just very different from what I'm used to.

I started working the first morning here trying to learn everything about this position before Kevin leaves at the end of April. He has been a very good host and I am very grateful to him for his patience, and relaxed approach. He is not only trying hard to show me everything I need to know about Equip but also what to do to keep yourself sane over here. Including the sweet surfing spots. It's a really good thing that he's fairly hillarious, at the moment we are trying to recover from our trip to Roberts Port where we got some pretty awful heat stroke, I was on the waves far too long.

As far as work goes, myself and all the Equip staff headed inland about 4 hours for the monthly staff meeting. Staff meeting lasts three full days, and consists of about sixty or so staff gathered around tables sharing about problems, succeses, and events of the past month. These are the staff that work for Equip up country, the projects include "Come eat at my table" a program for malnourished children, where they are taught about clean sanitation of food, handwashing and education of parents on proper nutrition for their children. "CHA Workshops" -- these are worksops that certify people in the communities to be Community Health Ambassadors, this means they are trained to educate more people on issues such as clean water habits, safe sex and protection against AIDS, safe disposal of human waste and other so called "common sense" and safety issues. It was really good for me to spend some time with the field workers in land to understand what they are doing and meet them, as I try to fit everything together in a working capacity.

Apologies for the shortish email and the many weeks between communication. It is very difficult for me to get phone or internet access, and when I do get the chance often it does not work. So I'd like to thank you all for your thoughts and your prayers. I miss you all, and throughout the day often smile to myself when I think of the great people I know back in Canada. (Ya I know that sounds cheesy, but really at this point I'm stinky dirty, and really hot so I feel justified in my comments :)

Stay tuned, I hope to get my Blog ( up and running this week for updates.
Riana Joy Zietsman