Saturday, February 26, 2011

adventures in the country

I love my job.  It is not a job-it is my life-I love my life.  However, there are some days that my life here is hard.  I can take the rough roads, the corruption, the cultural stress, the long hours of work-what I have a hard time with is seeing people suffer-people who have already suffered so much.

The other day we took our SP film crew to the Foya hospital to visit donors who had donated their blood for free.  In Liberia-people have to pay for blood and of course many people who are sick don't have the money to pay the 20USD for a pint of blood.  SP has recently help a campaign to encourage people to donate blood for free.  One of the blood recipients that we visited was very sick-very thin and if he didn't get blood within that hour he was probably going to pass away-it was not easy to see.  He did receive blood-and from what we know he is getting better.  How does this relate to Literacy?  Well-the caretaker (a young girl) of the man who was sick had to sign a form for us-giving us permission to use the story of the blood donation.  She couldn't read.  She didn't have the confidence to even sign her name.  So we took her thumb print.  But that wasn't good enough for her, she wanted to try and sign her name for us...

At first she just gave a thumb print but...
then she wanted to try and sign her name-and she did a great job!

It reminded me again of how powerful the simple act of being able to sign our name is.  It's our name.  What we are called.  For this girl-her name represented not only her but her dying relative.  Try and go throughout the day without signing your name-it's almost impossible!

That evening when I ventured out for my run-I thought about the scenes of the day.  A dying man with a caregiver who couldn't read, a mom who could not read and had to make an hour and a half trip to get to the hospital after giving birth-she also was a recipient of free blood, two ladies blind- one blind due to sickness and then her husband left her. The other older lady blinded by flying debris from a bomb that landed during some of the intense fighting during the war-but before losing her sight she saw her husband shot by rebels.  The tears mixed with the sweat-for those who know me-I am not a crier but some days are hard. Running helps me process stuff like this-if I couldn't 'run it out' I think I would just want to go home.  But I run and I love my life...


  1. oh made me cry with this one..thanks for sharing your emotions with us..

  2. Reiterating what Buzz is saying...but thanks for taking the personal stories and giving them to us. It's a gift.

  3. Totally agree with Buzz and Mel - you got me teary-eyed with this one. Thanks for sharing not only the stories but being vulnerable.