Healthy Soul

Still in Monrovia

Being able to live in uncertainty is an admirable trait. In Liberia, I’m learning that if that quality is not innate, it will be learned in a flash. I am still in Monrovia. We did not get on the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) flight.

UNMIL has stationed in several locations across Liberia. Helicopters are the primary and oftentimes the only reliable form of transportation for employees, mail, supplies, food items. Some governmental agencies, like Tubman University, have an approved list of employees who can get seats on the daily flights.

Free laundry is included in the price of the hotel room, so I will be cleanly dressed even though the bags with my clothes are already in Harper.

I am not on the university’s approved list, but Dr. Carbajosa, Tubman’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, with whom I’ll be working, has a project with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). She added my name that project’s list.

Getting my name on the list is the first step, but it does not guarantee a seat on the flight. Priority passengers are UNMIL employees. The helicopter seats forty, yesterday’s list of approved passengers numbered more than 100.

It has been decided that Dr. Carbajosa and I will remain in Monrovia until January 17th, the day after the presidential inauguration. I will then drive to Harper with colleagues who will be coming into Monrovia for the inaugural festivities. I’m excited that I’ll be able to witness this event that happens only once every six years.

I am now laughing at my complaints about daily commutes between Philadelphia, PA and Trenton, NJ. Yes, those 45 minutes each way was at times stressful, but from what I am hearing it can no way be compared to the Harper-Monrovia trip.

Political leadership of Liberia - President Sirleaf Johnson and Vice President Joe Boakai - will be inaugurated on January 16, 2011.

Political leadership of Liberia - President Sirleaf Johnson and Vice President Joe Boakai - will be inaugurated on January 16, 2011.

In fact, there are the stories of the truck breaking down on the road and then being out of commission for days until parts could be purchased and then taken to where it “died”. I’ve been watching the mechanics working on one of the university cars and seeing the delays because of the unavailability of parts.

The Harper-Monrovia run takes a serious toll on vehicles in the Tubman University fleet.

The Harper-Monrovia run takes a serious toll on vehicles in the Tubman University fleet.

And so I move forward, certain that things will be changed, but growing the trait of going with the flow.

What is your focus today?

 

5 Comments

  1. Jennifer, Truly patience is a virtue. I hope you have safe travel to the inaugural event. LG

  2. Well, my focus is on you my friend, because it is time for you to move out of the transient mode.

    However, I will laugh with you as well, while you make the best of your challenges (as only you can) in the interim, enjoy Monrovia and the inauguration.

    David

  3. Jennifer – I am finding your posts from Liberia fascinating! As for me, today I drive a whole 5 miles or so to a school in the South Bronx, work with a teacher, drive to another South Bronx school, work with another teacher, go home. Your posts keep things in perspective! Be well.

    • Hey Jeff – Thanks for checking in. I am so glad I have this opportunity to step out of the world in which I am comfortable so I can make the distinction between mere inconveniences and true hardships.

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