• kwankew

Monrovia to Bong

I left for Liberia on Royal Air Maroc. It seems that Brussels Airline and Royal Air Maroc are the only two airlines that are still flying to Liberia. I had a lay-over in Casa Blanca for an interminable thirteen hours listening to the piped music being played over and over. Having seen Casa Blanca a few years ago I was not to take a trip to the city. The flight from Morocco to Liberia was filled mainly with expats. Upon arrival we had to wash our hands and to have our temperature taken. I did not get into Monrovia till about four in the morning.


The following afternoon we drove to Bong. A huge sign in town announced “Ebola is real and it is here in Liberia”. We had to get down at two road blocks to get our temperature taken at a station with a banner:


Fight the Ebola virus,

Protect yourself

Protect your family

Protect your community


Soon after leaving Monrovia the smooth tarmac road changed into ones with pot holes or red-earthed roads. Life seemed to go on here. Intermittently dark clouds threatened and rain fell heavily but only for a short spell. This is the tail end of their rainy season. In the darkened evening sky we turned into a red-earthed dirt road at a sign of The Ebola Treatment Unit of Bong County, funded by Save the Children and managed by IMC and USAID. After about a few minutes of driving through groves of rubber trees through wet, red earthed winding road, blue-tarped buildings appeared sitting atop a small hill surrounded by green jungle with ominous rain clouds in the back ground. Somewhere close by is an old Leper Colony.


I did not get down on the ground of the ETU having only sandals on my feet and my boots were in my suitcase which was buried under a heavy pile of boxes and other bags. I heard someone greet me loud and clear. A physician approached the cruiser and said that he heard my interview on NPR. My reputation preceded my arrival, whether it was good or bad. I raised some questions and issues regarding the process of volunteering for the Ebola outbreak with my interview with an NPR reporter while I was at the CDC training.


http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/14/356144079/ebola-volunteers-are-needed-but-signing-on-isnt-easy


As we pulled out of the ETU, a crew in their personal protective equipment (PPE) sprayed down an ambulance which just delivered a sick patient. In the evening light, they looked surreal. In the distance the gathering dark clouds were pierced by wriggling lightning following by grumbling thunder.


Ebola treatment unit in Bong

Spraying down the ambulance

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