Graduation, flash cards, and cuboids

I was dragging a bit today so I didn’t do a whole lot that felt productive. The Peace Corps young lady, Cory, whom I met on our Brussels flight (and works at CB Dunbar hospital on Gbarnga) gave me a connection to a guy named Nathan who is up in Ganta (about 45 minutes north) working with AgriCorps. They have a poultry farm at Liberia International Christian College (LICC). He sent me a message on WhatsApp and we made tentative plans to get together next week so I can see his operation. The tentative part stems from the likelihood that John 2 will be headed back to Lofa on Tuesday/Wednesday if Lavela’s wood transportation doesn’t pan out and the possibility of me going to Monrovia for solar panels Thursday. Blessed are the flexible for they will not get bent out of shape! (I stole that from my mother-in-law’s refrigerator magnet).

John 2 and I made a cement run and upon our return Saah had shown up. He’s driving someone around from LCL and was killing time hanging out with us. Around 11:00 he was leaving for Gbarnga so I changed clothes and caught a ride to the Bong County administration building. One of our long-time lead workers, Isaac Kollie, gave me an invitation to his wife’s graduation program for her completion of a C-Certificate teacher training program which was being held in the auditorium there. I was fortunate to be so early because I got a plastic patio chair to sit on but the overall seating was woefully short of the number of graduates and attendees.

As with most things Liberian, there was a musical and spiritual aspect to the event. The graduating class of about 50 shuffled and swayed in unison as music accompanied their entrance into the hall. This took a while because the shuffling was slow. After prayers and a song by class members, the talking began. Introductions and thank you’s…thank you’s and introductions…both were followed by platitudes and wisdom sharing speeches. Over two hours into it, I decided to leave because the bestowing of graduation certificates didn’t look like an impending item on the agenda. I felt badly since I didn’t get a chance to be introduced to Isaac’s wife, Tarnue. I was so happy that later in the afternoon they made a special trip to GLTC to say hello. Isaac made a point of saying how much it meant to him that I went to the graduation ceremony. I love this photo of both of them at a palm next to the guesthouse. Tarnue is so pretty in her green dress which all the female graduates wore and Isaac…what can I say?! Who among us can pull off an outfit like that?…not me.

Back to projects, the diggers had finished the 3-foot deep trench between the guesthouse and school. I drilled holes in the cement block walls and roughed in 10ga. wire. This will provide a future tie-in from the school solar as capacity is increased.

I had a late lunch and some of my boys had arrived for a Saturday math session. I pulled out the math books and punched out a series of flash cards. I tried a competition of who could solve the flash card equation fastest but one boy, Emmanuel, was clearly much more advanced and the fun was wearing off as he repeatedly won. Doug Larson’s Liberian son, Solomon, stopped in since he’s been doing some work on campus. The math conversation led to supplemental angles, pi, calculations of a cylinder’s volume, and surface area of cuboids, which was a nice intellectual diversion from basic addition and subtraction. When Solomon left I told the boys class was over.

I walked up to see how the plasterers were doing and passed this woman carrying a water barrel. After four years, it still amazes me what I see women hauling on their heads.

I fell asleep to an intense thunderstorm with some close lightning strikes. Hard to imagine being a child in a mud block home with a rickety zinc roof during months of storms like that.

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