Monday, September 21, 2009

Volunteers Complete Liberia Mission

We're home! All safe and sound and with memories of a wonderful experience in Liberia.

The week of classroom instruction was fantastic. The morning and afternoon classes were well-attended -- more than 20 students each session every day -- and the discussion was lively. We presented 45 "certificates of training" to our students. We got to know many of our colleagues outside the classroom, as well, while working on the floors of the JFK Maternity Hospital.

Amanda was able to reinforce the classroom instruction on resuscitation by actually resuscitating a "preemie" who had been delivered by C-section a few hours before.

We also had several opportunities to teach the TNIMA students, who were very eager to have us visit their classrooms. Altogether we had nearly 400 teaching encounters in the short time we were on campus.

Everyone asked when we were coming back. We told them we hope it's soon!

On our last night aboard the Swift, there was a reception for the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The volunteers were thrilled to be introduced to her and spend a few minutes speaking with this remarkable leader. "It was the thrill of a lifetime," said Amanda, who is originally from Liberia.

The next morning, we disembarked at 0600 and watched the Swift sail away. Then we began our marathon journey home, starting with an overnight flight from Monrovia to Brussels, and from there some of us went to New York (JFK Airport, naturally) and Atlanta. We all brought home a piece of Liberia in our hearts.

Thanks for reading…Tom Stanton

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