I’d been fooled before. Gotten excited and mentally prepared only to be disappointed when the call never came or the whole thing was called off. And so I packed, but I didn’t alter my Wednesday plans. All the more so since I had been calling our counterpart for two days to try and solidify our travel plans regarding the scheduled Training of Trainers- the whole reason I was placed in Liberia.

My calls were the result of a fluke. Hitching back from Kakata I caught a ride with a Ministry of Health vehicle. And when the “boss” asked me what I was doing I began to explain about the training that was supposed to be happening “right now but had been canceled again.” He peered at me through the rearview mirror and informed me that it had started the week before – as scheduled. Only I never got a call and no one sent a car.

and so I was hanging out with Sierra Leone today, in the wake of so many unanswered phone calls and text messages, and we were just leaving his house when the text came in that the driver was on his way. I strolled home, pulled together the remainder of my things and waited…and waited…and waited.

Tee arrived, pleasant and accommodating. Graciously detoured the short ride up the side road between Phebe and Gbarnga to the unfinished house of Charles Taylor. The skeletal remains of huge columns framing breathtaking views of the unruly foliage all around are all that remain. That and his initials carved at the top. It was an unsettling field trip; tangible evidence of how close in time and distance the civil unrest was. The house looming like the history that weights life here.

From there we stopped at a nondescript location to see the legendary catfish swarm and vie for bread. And from then it was just road. Jutted, potholed, eroded road. But despite the horrid conditions we made it to Ganta in short order and without incident.

Ganta is known as a happening place. A place that never sleeps. A place where you can get hot soup (pepper, goat, or cow meat) at 2am. Midday on a Wednesday, it was difficult to distinguish typical city bustle from the unique liveliness of this well-known Nimba County city.

Our end destination was the Leprosy Treatment compound where the three-week training is being held. Even with my late arrival the day was long. It broke at 5:30 to resume again at 7 and end for the day at 9pm. They were still going strong in my session at 9:15 when I departed. In need of a shower, the guest house turns off the generator at 10, we were dropped off at our compound for the night. Tomorrow is another day…I’m fascinated to see what it brings.

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