Skip To Main Content
Dr. Miller's Africa Trip-Day 3

Dr. Miller's Liberia, Africa Blog

Day 3, June 4, 2024

The Streets of Liberia, Materials from the Warehouse, Elementary School Visits, Dr. Miller Reads, The Heat

Greetings once again CYSD from Liberia, Africa!  Today was special in so many ways and I hope I represented our district and community in a PROUD way!  Our day began like the others with breakfast here at our hotel.  Today I was served pancakes that were nearly two-inches thick!  They have syrup here but just a little bit.  There is always fresh fruit to go with your meal.  Our driver, Amos, who is quickly becoming my hero, picked us up around 9AM.  Amos is quiet and very humble but I asked him if I could take his picture behind the steering wheel.  He gets us places in Liberia in unbelievable ways dodging traffic and motorbikes.  He was excited when I told him I was going to put him and his picture in my blog though!  We made our way through the busy morning traffic.  At many places, there are women, men, boys, and girls who sell anything on the streets as you drive through traffic.  Some of the items I have seen for sale include: fruit, bread and rolls, gum and candy, small flags, chips, sodas, even windshield wiper blades!  The women amaze me as they balance their treasures on their heads and walk up and down the road.  We arrived at MCSS headquarters and met up with the rest of Mrs. Toe's volunteers.  Mrs. Toe and I presented Superintendent Momoh with our special Liberia Project shirt much to his delight!  Her organization, The Liberia Public School Project, is truly doing amazing things which until now, I have only read about or heard her speak of.  Mrs. Toe works to gather used materials and resources and ready-to-be-discarded school materials from our district and York City School District as well as local churches.  These items are then shipped directly to Liberia and stored in a warehouse which when retrieved, goes directly to the schools.  Today, I got to go inside the warehouse and see discarded treasures and books from our school district.  I had an amazing moment in the warehouse when I saw several plastic containers of math manipulatives that I donated from Roundtown about a year ago when we implemented our new math program and received newer materials.  You may recall that yesterday, I posted about an elementary school that was using old bottle caps for such math materials.  I knew I had found a true treasure for Rebecca J. Wilson Elementary School!  We loaded up our vehicles and drove to three different elementary schools today including: C.D.B. King Elementary, Lorma Quarter Elementary, and Monrovia Demonstration Elementary.  The students at each school were beyond excited to see us drive up and directly share these items with the school.  Every place we went, the children were happy to see us and often greeted us with songs or other special chants.  Mrs. Toe and I have a tag-team approach where she tells them her story of growing up as a little girl in Liberia, and I offer sources of hope by sharing that they are loved by our community a whole ocean away.  The children are so happy to learn that other people in another country are thinking about them.  Although it is very difficult sometimes for me personally, I know this work is important work.  When I think about all of the comforts and materials we are fortunate enough to have and then see these children with literally nothing, it can be overwhelming.  I try not to show tears until I am back in the car.  The classrooms are stifling hot and the moment you walk in, you sweat profusely.  Liberia is situated much closer to the equator so the sun feels much hotter than it does in Pennsylvania.  The children talk about the need for fans and other ways to cool down but keep learning despite the heat.  Most of the students are shy and soft-spoken but I met a sixth grader today who was so articulate and well-spoken and he said, "I want to go see America with you, Dr. Miller!"  We posed for a fun picture before he asked me for an autograph!  For those who do share, I give them a York Peppermint Patty which they love!  When school finishes, the children walk out of the compound and are often greeted by some with snacks and a special "kool-aid" baggie that they all enjoy.  I finally got to share my passion with a group of about 100 tiny children in the kindergarten and early childhood class when I read Strega Nona, my favorite book to read aloud.  The children seemed mesmerized and the teacher told me that most likely none of them had ever heard a man read aloud from a storybook.  That was special for me!  We ended our day back at Rebecca J. Wright Elementary where I presented the principal and her staff with those same math materials from Roundtown!  They were overcome with joy and expressed a level of thankfulness I have never experienced before.  It was quite extraordinary to see the children touch things like tangrams, 3-d shapes, rulers, and counting blocks.  Mrs. Toe and I were greeted all day by these amazing children with songs, hugs, love, and even posters they made to welcome us.  The people of Liberia are good people and need many things.  I am beyond proud to be able to help them in some small way.  Our CYSD Community can also feel proud for the many donations that I now see directly helping these people.  Many thanks for the outpouring of well-wishes and good thoughts that have been shared on social media for Mrs. Toe and I while representing our community and district.  Although we are a whole ocean away, we feel you back home!  Wishing you all a good night and best wishes for a wonderful LAST day of school tomorrow! ~Dr. Miller, Day 3 June 4, 2024

There are no resources or collections to display