Saturday, September 5, 2009

Greetings from Monrovia,Liberia!

A team of Project HOPE volunteers arrived here by airplane on Wednesday afternoon -- with all of their luggage! They will be supporting the Africa Partnership Station 2009 mission for the next two weeks.

Amanda is originally from Liberia and is excited to be coming back for the first time in more than 10 years and for the first time ever as a nurse here. Jen and Kathleen will be team-teaching a midwifery course. All will be helping write protocols for several departments in the maternity hospital at the JFK Medical Center. Read the volunteer bios!

JFK is a large campus -- at least 20 acres -- on the Atlantic coast on the south side of the city. There is a sign posted at the main gate expressing condolences to the Kennedy family on the passing of Senator Kennedy. The largest building is the Memorial Hospital -- four stories high with many windows that allow refreshing breezes to enter the wards. It opened in 1972,while the maternity hospital opened in 1981 and is about to undergo a major renovation in a few months. It's obvious all the facilities are still recovering from more than two decades of national conflict, which ended only a few years ago. The hospital's motto is "embracing the past and carving a new future." We hope our work here will help brighten that future.

The Hopies have settled in to their home away from home -- the HVS2 Swift, a "wave piercing catamaran". We won't be testing her capabilities, though, as we will be docked at the pier for the entire mission. The Swift has been deployed since July,delivering medical supplies to several West African countries. Liberia is the only port of call where medical services will be provided -- a team of about 25 military health care providers is joining us on Friday night. They will be working at other sites around the city and in the countryside.

We're looking forward to a ceremony tomorrow at which the president of Liberia will speak.

Stay tuned! Tom Stanton

Check back as we continue to document Project HOPE volunteers as they work around the world......and please support our dedicated medical volunteers.

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