I’m sitting at Logan Airport with a torrential rain beating on the tarmac, thinking of the Ethiopian runners in the Boston marathon who must be wishing for their hometown African heat! My flight to Newark is delayed as I begin my eighth trip to Liberia. Travels will begin a bit differently this time as I have four companions for the first week – the parents (and their friends) of a young man, Andy, who is a Peace Corps volunteer in his first year of teaching high school math and science in a public school in the village of Klay. Becky, Dave, Kathy, and Gary will accompany me to Gbarnga for a week at our guesthouse to experience this part of Liberia while helping where they can at our school. I made arrangements for them to have transportation through LCL and it turns out my old friend Saah will be their driver. They will then make their way to join Andy for a week in his village. We just need a flight to Newark and enjoy time for our connecting flight to Brussels to get this ball rolling!
My trip goals range from implementing our new Rotary grant (which includes 1-installation of solar on the school so we can have adult literacy classes in the evening and 2-getting a poultry farm started for both food and income for the school), encouraging our stubborn/slow-to-start block making business, and providing feedback and support to our school staff as we fine tune the operation and prepare for new educational programs and higher enrollment next academic year. I think it’s fairly well recognized that building our school facility is the “easy” part… working with people (particularly in a different culture) is the tough part.
Looks like we’re getting closer to boarding…more updates later.