Sunday, January 25, 2009

Packed and ready to go…

Phone calls and e-mails are flying back and forth between Liberia, Atlanta, Richmond and Browntown, and our dining room is filled with footlockers, suitcases, scales and remnants of training materials, papers and office supplies. Only 9 days to departure and we are all so excited!

A training trip has been in LOEP’s plan for several years since our friends in Liberia asked us to come and work with teachers in the orphan schools there. Actual preparation has consumed nearly 9 months for Phylis, Emmalee, Brenda and me. We have been busy putting together mobile classrooms, designing the teacher training, preparing handbooks, putting together training kits and assembling a Professional Development Resource mini-Library.

Not only have we prepared to train teachers, we have tried to prepare adequately to be good guests in Liberia where the long years of war have taken a devastating toll on the country and society. We want to put as little strain as possible on resources and friends who are really quite busy rebuilding their nation.

These pictures show some of our preparation and also serve to introduce all the team members to those of you who only know some of us

Phylis and I made Panera in Fredericksburg our “half way” office. Located half way between Browntown and Phylis’s home in Richmond, the bread restaurant is our regular meeting spot for lunch and planning. This meeting was the first where Phylis and I reviewed the original Training Manual – sometime in August.

Here Gary takes a breather from unloading some of last year’s Fall shipment of school supplies and teacher materials at the shipping agent drop-off point. This year’s shipment, in preparation for the teacher training, LOEP sent two mobile classrooms and three classroom kits like those in the picture.

I am getting great help packing up 50 teacher training kits that we will be unpacking in less than 9 days (in Liberia)! Also pictured are the boxes of supplies we use for School Day Packs, Classroom Kits and Mobile Classrooms.

Emmalee originally came up with the Mobile Classroom concept when wheeled, wooden boxes became available to LOEP at no cost. Training teachers how to use the instructional materials in the themed units most effectively is the basis for the first LOEP Teacher Training.

Brenda Bernard and Rev. Emile Sam-Peal with his son Ethan. Brenda, the fourth member of the LOEP Teacher Training Team, has represented LOEP on several trips to Liberia. This picture was take more than a year ago before Rev. Sam Peal was appointed Superintendent/Principal of Lott Carey Mission School

Now you know who we are and where we are going!

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