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Dr. Miller's Africa Trip-Day 9

Dr. Miller's Liberia, Africa Blog

Day 9, June 10, 2024

Meeting with The Dean of Education, The Trip to Nimba County, University Donation

Today was a long journey as we spent about nine hours driving through Liberia!  We started our day by gathering up our Liberia Project Friends.  We drove to one of the satellite campuses to meet up with the University Dean of Education, Dr. Cassel.  Dr. Cassel showed us around the education wing of the university and then took us to one of the dorms that holds the pre-school and early childhood development center where prospective teachers learn their craft.  As with most facilities in Liberia, this one was also needing a great many supplies and materials and furniture for the children.  The children have to take their rest time either laying on the floor or laying their head down on the table.  Many of the chairs had nails sticking out of them so the little children have to be careful not to get hurt.  Dr. Cassel also shared with me that the University has the capability for distance learning and I told her I would look into the possibility that her prospective teachers could learn from American teachers via remote learning.  Next, we piled into the truck for the long ride to Nimba County.  We were traveling a couple counties away to deliver materials to a school that was started by a good friend of Mrs. Toe's who was also a former roommate of Mrs. Toe's when she first moved to the United States.  To get to Nimba, we had to travel through our own county, Montserrado, and then through Bong County and then on into Nimba County.  All of these are also tribes I learned about from my friend Eric a few days ago.  As we drove, the scenery changed a good bit from city to country with more wild trees and flowers and plants growing.  We saw many traveling caravans of people with goods and others items loaded high onto trucks.  Often, you would see vehicles so loaded that other passengers had to hold onto the back of the vehicle.  This practice would be illegal in the U.S.  At one point we drove past Cuttington University which is the other large institution of higher learning in Liberia.  When we arrived at the school four hours later, we were greeted enthusiastically by the students and staff.  The school houses approximately 400 students and they were so eager and happy to greet us!  We visited each classroom and the children enjoyed meeting us.  I got to read Strega Nona again before leaving it and some other books with the teacher.  One classroom of students had written small cards in cursive for us to enjoy special messages from each student.  We delivered several boxes and then sat down for a light supper at the school. Our next stop was a short drive to another college where we delivered some textbooks to the college.  Like the schools, the colleges and universities are also very pleased to receive items from America.  Then we began the long drive home.  I saw many interesting things on our drive as many of the laws that exist in the U.S. do not apply here in Liberia such as passing and lane restrictions.  We were stopped during the evening hours about eight times at checkpoints.  These checkpoints are important because other African countries such as Guinea, are very close to the border and people could be crossing illegally into Liberia.  We also saw several trucks that broke down. As we approached, I saw several patches of grass pulled from the ground that were spaced evenly apart.  Eric told me this is to alert other drivers that there is a vehicle in distress ahead.  This is like in America where we place reflective triangles on the road.  Since they do not have those available, they use plants or other grass patches in a similar manner.  As we drove home, we talked of many things and sometimes dozed in the car.  I was glad to get to see another side of Liberia but the drive was long and tiring.  As we got home to the hotel, I hopped into bed and drifted off to sleep.  Wishing you all a wonderful day!

~Dr. Miller, Day 9 June 10, 2024

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