Tuesday, February 15, 2011

school visit.

LACES, the organization I work for,  has an office housed inside the Samaritan's Purse (SP) office just down the street from where I'm staying. This afternoon I tagged along with Debbie, a girl who works for SP, on her trip out to Coopers Farm, a town in the Todee district about an hour away. SP is helping rehabilitate a school there by fixing their broken water pump and building them chairs, desks, and floors. Currently some of the children walk 3-4 miles to school, carrying a brick the whole way just so they have something to sit on!

The teachers and children were all very friendly. Anytime you popped your head into a classroom all the children stood up and said in unison, "Welcome visitor, how are you this morning?" It was precious. The little ones were in class, but I did have the chance to sit down and talk with the 8th graders, who ranged from age 15 to 17. I asked them what they do for fun and they said football and baseball, which in America means soccer and kickball! They laughed at my terrible Liberian-English, but with a little charades we were able to communicate just fine.

The drive to and from the school was an adventure in itself. People think Michigan dirt roads and Muncie potholes are bad? Bumpy roads take on a whole new meaning in Africa! I was very excited to see the country side, though. The way people live in the country and the city are very different here. We also drove through the biggest Firestone rubber plantation in the world. Firestone owns approximately 118,000 acres of land in liberia where they plant the rubber trees that produce the raw materials used to make Firestone Tires. Rubber trees are tapped to collect latex, similar to the way maple trees are tapped to collect syrup.

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