Saturday, March 24, 2012

Monrovia, Liberia, Last Day

Friday March 23, 2012

Monrovia, Liberia, last day

Odds & Ends: Money exchange—if you leave a tip of $100 you’ve just left about $1.30--bring your cash in a shoebox!  It seems that everyone is remodeling their hotels, this one included.  We now eat in the bar/restaurant as the main one no longer exists.  We are interested to see the results when we return.  Here in Africa, most people do not own TV’s but they are all football fans (soccer).  Prince has a little business that he calls a movie theater.  It is not like at home where he would show movies--he just shows sports.  He says it has been very successful.  He is also very close to moving into the new home that he’s been building.

This morning Prince came by along with the last contractor to be interviewed and Jim liked this one the best.  Because this contractor’s projects were so far away from here (he does them in many cases way out in the bush) we don’t have to drive around in the heat to see them.  This makes my body quite happy.  We will probably use Bundor and at least two other contractors.  It will be interesting to see who performs the best so that we can develop more contractors to use in the future and so that they keep their prices in line.  We also want to see their ability to do community development and hygiene training, which includes one of the most important aspects of the work, sustainability.

Over lunch Prince and Jim mapped out how many wells, latrines and hygiene training we would give to each contractor.  Bundor joined them later to find out what part he would play in the upcoming project.  Soon I have to fill out the project request forms, which questions always cause me some frustration because I don’t have all the answers.  I got smart and asked Prince to come up with the information before I fill out the forms. 

And so, one more night in this lovely hotel on a very fine mattress, and a cleaning up or two more in their blessed shower before taking off tomorrow after lunch for the airport.  Then the tedious 3-flight trek home on the short-long-longer flights to LAX.  As Dorothy would say, ‘there’s no place like home…’

Love, Mom & Dad, Jim & Karen, E/S Greding

One of the contractor’s wells.  Even though it isn’t pretty,after 4 years it was still working.

This cute little boy’s mom said he had malaria but she didn’t have money to buy the medicine.

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