Author Topic: Moberly man, home from Liberia, says Peace Corps mission outweighed Ebola risk  (Read 197 times)

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Offline EC

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MOBERLY — Liberia was beautiful, Dane Sosniecki said, but beyond the lush landscapes was Ebola, a deadly virus that has become an international health issue.

Dane SosnieckiWhen the disease began to spread internationally, the Peace Corps called back volunteers in West Africa. Sosniecki was one of them. He left for Liberia on June 13 and was scheduled to be overseas for 27 months but stayed for only six weeks. He arrived home in Moberly on Saturday.

"It was something out of left field, something I didn’t even consider," Sosniecki said. "It had been there the entire time we were there. You just don’t see it."

Sosniecki said he and 50 other volunteers would have sworn into the Peace Corps in mid-August if the Ebola evacuation hadn't happened.

He spent his six weeks teaching eighth-grade animal science in Kakata, Liberia, roughly an hour and a half from the capital, Monrovia.

But teaching wasn't his choice. The Peace Corps made that call, and Sosniecki liked it. Although he had six months of experience as a substitute teacher with the Moberly School District, he found the classrooms in Liberia much different.

"You have language challenges and limited resources to let you help your kids and execute your lesson plans," Sosniecki said.

In Kakata, another challenge he faced was that students of all ages could be found in the same classroom, learning at different levels.

"You’ll have people 25, 26 or older than you in 10th-grade geometry trying to learn," Sosniecki said. "If kids need help multiplying and dividing or with algebra, then we can work on that."

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In the interests of fairness and transparency, the author is the son of a very good friend of mine. He's doing portfolio work interning at this paper, and scored an exclusive interview. The site has an annoying thing of asking you to do a survey question before you read the article though  :shrug:.
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