Greetings from Liberia!
The U-M early team arrived in Liberia late on Wednesday, 10 August 2016. We are staying near Barnersville junction with one of the L-SWE students. Her family has been super nice these past few days.
Our first full day in Liberia was spent signing people up for the 2016 L-SWE SUCCESS camp. We visited the University of Liberia – Fendall Campus and watched the Engineering Concept Design Competition organized by GEMCESA (Geology, Electrical, Mining, and Civil Engineering Student Association at the University of Liberia) and sponsored by ExxonMobil and E-HELD (Excellence through Higher Education for Liberian Development). It was quite interesting to see the innovative ideas that the four Liberian project teams imagined. Everything from a car made entirely of Liberian-sourced parts to a set of waterways to improve transit to the Liberian interior.
We also visited the site of the 2016 camp, Rick’s Institute. It is a nice facility and we will share more photos during the camp.
The second day in Liberia was a purchasing day. We bought all sorts of supplies for camp. We spent American and Liberian money. Liberian dollars are called Liberty. One USD is anywhere from 80 to 100 LD depending on the exchange rate.
You can buy lots of things in Liberia in the capital that you would find in the States. They have everything from small roadside markets to bigger indoor grocery stores. We even visited a small store that was like a Liberian Costco – they only sold things by the case/carton/box.
On the third day (Saturday, 13 August 2016), hosted a pre-departure meeting at the E-HELD office on Old Road across from the Nigerian Embassy. We discussed expectations for the camp and answered questions.
Today (Sunday, 14 August 2016), the rest of the U-M team arrives. You will hear from them during the next two weeks. We cannot wait to share all of the great things that will be happening at the camp. The women engineers in Liberia are truly incredible. I, for one, cannot wait to meet more of them!