The Uncommon Man

February 04, 2007

MRI in Liberia: In the Air

In the Air

The trip from the U.S. to Liberia takes more than 38 hours of traveling. Navigating three plane flights, jet lag, and a five hour time change make it also a journey into a different consciousness. An appropriate entry into Africa.

The flights to Washington and Brussels were packed, but two thirds of the seats in the large plane to Monrovia (stopping in Freetown, Sierra Leone) are empty. So, this 8 hour leg of the journey we are able to stretch out.

Flying over the Sahara Desert is a dramatic experience. North African mountains, capped with fresh snow give way to vast stretches of wind swept rock and networks of dry riverbeds. And then, the endless sand dunes, seen from 39,000 feet as ripples on water.

It will be late evening by the time we make our way through Liberian customs and the 45 minute drive from the airport to our hotel in Monrovia.

Tomorrow morning we begin three days of training for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) staff who will be implementing their Male Involvement Project (MIP). Over the following two weeks for me and three weeks for James we will be providing supervision and support for these staff as they take the Men’s Resources International training to men’s groups in three regions of Liberia. In addition to Monrovia area, we will travel by jeep and U.N. helicopter to Lofa and Nimba counties near the borders with Guinea and Sierra Leone.

In addition, we will be conducting a day long workshop for community leaders sponsored by the Liberian Ministry of Gender and Development, another full day workshop for representatives of international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) working in Liberia, and a consultation about developing a national awareness-raising campaign with the Ministry of Gender Task Group on Gender-Based Violence.

In commitment and faith,

— Steven Botkin, Executive Director
Men's Resources International, USA

Note: For a compilation of all blog entries from Steven and James in Liberia, click here.

Posted by Daniel at February 4, 2007 12:42 PM


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