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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bong Mine Trip

It is often good to get out and about Liberia to get a sense of the culture and history of the people we are reaching. Recently we were able to join a trip out to the Bong Town. The main objective was to deliver medical donations to the hospital and we were also able to see where the big Iron Ore Bong Mines were before they were devastated by the rebels.
The trip started with a 2 1/2 hour train journey. We drove the landrovers up onto a flat bed pulled by the train. Crew were able to get out of the landrovers and sit on top for the journey. Although it was attractive to feel the breeze in the hot of the day, the down side was that you got choked and blackened by the thick soot coming out of the engine! We had the back of the landrover to ourselves so Nathanael was able to hang out of the window and wave to the people we passed. At one point he had quite an audience all waving and shouting his name. We saw many sights of Liberia, some of poverty and others of beautiful lush vegetation. Many times we would be out in the middle of nowhere and children would come running out of the bush to wave at us.
On arriving at Bong Town our first stop was the hospital. They were very pleased to see us and the doctors gave us a tour of the whole building. It is amazing what they accomplish with such little. In the maternity ward there were 5 day old twin babies...so cute! (hover your mouse over the pictures to see a description of the rooms.)
After the hospital our driver took us around the Bong Mine. Originally run by a German company until the rebels came in and destroyed everything. Our driver worked at these mines and was there when the rebels came. He told us how 1000's were killed. The town now hopes for the news to come reality of a chinese company that is interested in rebuilding the site and jobs will be restored to the community after so many years.

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