UA-63899747-1 Back to Liberia Day 8 – Nzinga Harrison, MD
Back to Liberia Day 7
January 16, 2014
Back to Liberia Day 9
January 18, 2014

Today was the last day in Gbarnga.  I started the morning by finally winning the war against Windows 8 with a successful install of Skype on Peter’s computer.  It literally took 3 days, 3 computers and 3 people to make it happen.  He was so happy—I thought because he needed it for work meetings.  But, after I was able to get it to work, he said his little brother went to China 5 months ago to learn Chinese and now he will finally be able to see his face.  How awesome is that?!    Following my victory, I took a rest in the hammock on the porch.  I tell you what… I need one of those in my backyard.  It was like instant naptime.

We went to two clinics this morning for the last two groups of clinical case rounds.  Again, the students made me so proud with their ability to use the information about substance use disorders.  It was just great.   After lunch, we got straight on the road to Monrovia (about a 4 hour drive).  Now, I had mentioned that I needed to use the bathroom before we left, but we all forgot.  About 2 hours into the drive, I knew I was NOT going to make it another 2 hours.  Of course, there is literally nowhere on the side of the road that has a toilet – most homes don’t and no businesses do.  So, I told Anthony (our driver) that he had to pull over on the side of the road.  He said ok, and right after we went over a one-lane bridge, there was a space he could get on the side.  He popped open the glove compartment and pulled out a roll of toilet paper!   So, I went into the bushes and took care of my business.  As I was coming out, I saw Caroline coming out fixing her pants, Nenbo coming out fixing his pants and Anthony coming out fixing his pants.   I guess I am truly Liberian now!  We all got back in the car relieved and Nenbo made the joke that we all left our own water under the bridge.

I’ve clearly become desensitized to the traffic situation as I consider the trip home uneventful.  Just once I was awakened from my sleep by the sound of blaring horns as we nearly side swiped a motorcycle and hit an oncoming truck head on.  And one more time I was awakened when we hit a pot hole so fast that the truck flew in the air and my liver flew into my chest.  Both times, Anthony said, “Sorry for waking you.”    Sorry for waking me?!

We stopped at a roadside fruit stand and bought a pineapple and some cucumbers, and now I am back in Monrovia.  24 hour electricity, 24 hour Wi-Fi, hot water and air conditioning.   Did I mention hot water?!!!!   As of yet, I have not seen Cletus – but I am not ruling out the possibility.  I finished the day by giving a 20 minute PowerPoint presentation to my Board of Directors back in California.  Amazing, right?!   And now I will take a hot shower and have a long sleep…

Pictures can be found here:

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