UA-63899747-1 Liberia Day 8– Inservice and an Adventure – Nzinga Harrison, MD
Day 6- Last Day of Clinicals
July 13, 2013
Liberia Day 9 – Mystery Solved and On the Way Home
July 17, 2013

Saturday was a low key day, save the adventure I found myself in later that night.   Because the first four cohorts of the Carter Center Mental Health Program did not have Substance Abuse included in their curriculum, we were asked to do a one-day inservice.  43 nurses and physician assistants travelled from all around the country to come to the training.  On average, they traveled 10-12 hours by car.  One student paid a car, which broke down, so he spent the night on the highway, and paid a motorcycle to bring him the rest of the way the next morning.  He said, this is how important it was that he learn about substance abuse because he is the only mental health clinician in his county (the equivalent of our states).  It was really inspiring.  So bless their little hearts, we crammed a lifetime full of information into an 8 hour day.  They, of course, soaked it up, and were great!  So, I was thinking, it would be an early night, I would get plenty of sleep in preparation for departure on Sunday and boy was I wrong.  First of all, I was just about to put on my BOWELS OF STEEL t-shirt when it happened.  No details necessary -- you can figure it out.  I will just take this moment to remind you (or maybe tell you for the first time) that the water pressure in the toilets is too low for tissues, so all tissues have to be put in the waste basket.  Yep, and now I will leave your mind to torture you with the images.

So, as if that wasn't bad enough, as soon as I fell asleep, the adventure began.  First, I ended up being awake very late, as I was waiting on Joel and the kids to get back from the movies so we could Skype one final time before my nearly 24 hour trip home.  So about midnight Liberian time, I finally crawled in the bed -- exhausted and admittedly, a bit stuporous.  Not long after, a loud noise woke me up -- I swore I saw a flash of light, and then smelled smoke.  So I was panicking!  They had already "recommended" that we not leave the hotel at night.  And the hotel door had a double deadbolt and metal bar further underlining that advice.  So, I literally had a psychotic break.  I was so scared I did not know what to do -- we were in a hotel where all I had seen all week was international businessmen, and I thought, oh no!  Someone is here to kidnap a business man or rob them of "the package" and I am caught in the middle!  It took me forever to talk myself down, but eventually I did.  As soon as I drifted back to sleep, another loud POP! that sounded like a gunshot sounded outside my window.  I was like, you know what?!  But, I comforted myself by thinking "It's out there, and I'm in here behind a metal bar and two deadbolts."  So, I went back to sleep.  Only to awaken at 3:00am in a Tuberculosis like sweat.  I'm thinking, how in the world did this night go so wrong?!  So, I grab my iPad (which for the first time was on the nightstand instead of across the room charging thank goodness), and used it as a light to get to the light switch.  I flip the switch (so I can figure out what's going on with the AC) and nothing.  You got it, no power.  I'm like, oh heck naw!  The KGB cut the power lines so they can steal the package and kidnap the business man!  And what if they think he's in my room?!!  But that wasn't even the worse part.  I'm thinking, I made it this far and now I have to get diarrhea and malaria in the same night?!!  Because you know, AC keeps mosquitos away, and I clearly had NO A/C.  So, I just had to take a DEET bath and climb back in the bed.  Finally, I drifted back asleep to be awakened shortly after 7:00am when the A/C turned on as a sign that power had been restored.  And now to Day me, you should read it to get the end of this story...

And of course there are pictures


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