Monrovia, 19th of October 2014
This is Richard Hiltner, Edouard Broussalian, Medha Durge and myself from Wingus Guesthouse, Monrovia. We arrived on Friday night at about half past seven. Only our plane on the whole airport except for one small Aircraft of the UN which according to one of their collaborators is exclusively for their own use. The Air Brussels flight was half full, the staff does not know how much longer they will keep on flying. Most of the passengers were American citizens : soldiers the majority, some logistics in charge to build a "UTI the World has not seen" (from Alabama), members of the US embassy, Chinese business men, the odd journalist, a team of seven doctors sent by the Swedish government, many Africans etc.
On arrival the atmosphere is tense, we get our aprox temperature taken. Warnings about Ebola everywhere!!! One of the luggage pieces is lost: thanks to God at least it is not one with our medicines. We are blessed with 110 remedies in 3 to 4 potencies ( from 30 to 10M) from Hahnemannian, Gudjons & Remedia. How Could we have dared to go here without our most valuable tools???
We are received by a Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( Asriel C. Davis), Victor Doolakeh Taryor ( our protector and guide for the next weeks), Victoria from the Health Department and our drivers with two pick up trucks. Divine Key Anderson, our filmmaker and present director of Film Board could not get a license to get into the airport plus there is a ban on riding the motorbike back to his home alter 10 pm. Victor and Victoria let us off a Wingus Guest House, a comfortable and clean private run guest house and rush home as well as 11 pm is the curfew time for Monrovia's streets.
There we are, tired ( Richard traveled for nearly 36 hours), hungry but spot on: we finally reached after so many weeks of struggling to be able to travel to what we had decided to do. We are destined to help the people of Liberia to fight Ebola Virus Disease with an effective means of fighting epidemics : homeopathic remedies. And we thank Renzo, Altunay, André, Conni and Curt for setting us on the track by their unlimited efforts and Michael Kölsch and Siegfried Ziegler to connect us to Ganta Hospital, a well run hospital with three Liberian doctors left and specially trained staff in Nimba County. So many foreign doctors have fled the country, they say there is only about fifty Liberian doctors of whom 35 are working in actual health institutions for a population of 3.5 million...
Saturday is our first contact making day: The Board of Trustees from Ganta Hospital ( Dr Boayu, no less than the National expert on Aids working for years for the WHO and is a widely travelled man. Dr Helena, former Health Minister and trained in Public Health out of the country as well ( Germany and US) and their colleague responsible for communication skills ). They were so interested in our mission that we had a hard time leaving after two hours and asked/ pleaded us to not only stay for our intended three weeks...
Off to Monrovia's center. Print outs of our titles and CV´s for the Health Ministry, five minutes of internet just for the most urgent mails cause there is no WiFi in our guest house. We are accompanied in all of our steps by our most skilled and lovely filmmaker Divine Key Anderson who already contributed to the epidemic by producing a very concisive film about Ebola in Liberia which can be seen on the Web page of Freunde Liberia´s e.V. He was not very happy on the film ban by the Liberian Government because for him pictures are the most important footage for beating the crisis Liberia is facing right now. (Since about ten days there is no more pictures on Ebola Patients, ITU's, dead people or so allowed by the government.) But the most surprising of our lovely and well organized hosts is Victor Doolakeh Taryor, the present medical administrator, ex nurse, business manager, driver, organizer, translator etc... you cannot possibly wish for a better, more efficient and friendlier person who actually came all the way down from Ganta Hospital ( about five hours drive away up north east) to receive us and take care of almost all of our needs. He is also the person to put us up to date about Liberia´s history, show us all the historical sites, teaches us the cultural no go's... ( Please at least read Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's book "This child will be great" or Leymah R. Gbowee's " Mighty be our Powers" to get into the fascinating history and battle for freedom of this crisis shaken country if you find time for preparing your stay here...)
Sunday is leisure and important church day: Liberia has more than sixty percent of Christians, 25% of Muslims and the rest being tribal people. People sooo much dress up for going to church!!! And all is closed, time for catching up on our sleep, getting our souls to slowly slowly arrive and adapting to food ( actually very tasty and even though famine has started due to the closing of borders has quite a variety), customs, temperatures, rain, bumpy roads etc
The real challenge however is yet to come : restoring the sick to health. But we are taking first steps by freeing Victor from his eleven years lasting head and neck pain and have a list of patients for tomorrow already. The other part of it is to work as an international team coming from all the different parts of this world, different schools, different ages, different life experience etc. For us, it seems to work since we seem to complement one another and that was already shining through on the telephone conferences...( energetic synergy).
Monday will be our Ministry day and crash course day for Ebola patient management in the JFK hospital... Also we have to all stand up for Divine and his film permit of our endeavor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Enough for tonight,
We hope to all meet you on the next telephone conference and hope to be able to tell you about our first EVD patient encounters in Ganta Hospital.
Love from us all,