This is the last blog post of the October HCW UMVIM Team. My teammates departed this morning and it is SOOO quiet here at the MTC tonight. I enjoyed my late lunch and dinner with Fudia, as we talked of her visit to the US next year to promote Fudia’s Cookbook. Coming to a church near you! Also, the return of HCW’s M&E Project Lead, Sam Bundren. This has also been a topic at many of our meetings with our partners, who are all eagerly awaiting his return. I finished the last day in Bo with a meeting of the Mercy Hospital Local Management Committee. I was finally able to put faces with several names known to me, and also to meet some new representatives of the various members of the Management Committee. I particularly enjoyed meeting the representative of the Paramount Chief and the representative of the District Medical Officer. As Reverend Francis Charley, UMC District Supervisor for Bo, and chair of the committee, took us calmly through our deliberations, I came to understand and appreciate even more about how the differences in our cultures change only the approaches we take to problem-solving, not the concerns or interests we are resolving together in partnership.
Thank you for a renewed sense of purpose and belonging to the whole wide world beneath the care of a loving God, and for firmly placing Sierra Leone in the hearts of so many grateful Americans. To all my old and new friends, whether we encountered you in Bo or Freetown, at Mercy Hospital, CRC, MTC, Leader Memorial, the US Embassy, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Gender Equality, or if we met you in the bustling urban centers or the rural villages, I say fond farewell and see you "soon time!"