"If peace comes, we will go home," she says, wiping sweat from her brow. "We will rebuild our tukuls [homes] and send our children to school. If [peace does not come] we will stay here, because we have nowhere to go."
We will be able to stop Ebola in the coming weeks and months. But that is not the end of the story. Will we also build a strong enough health system to stop the next outbreak? We believe that it is a moral and economic imperative to do so, and all of us must work toward that goal.
All of the stress and disappointment I had felt earlier that day was now so small and seemed so far away. Those were just things that happened. But this was living... just my boy and me and that perfect moment in time.
Sure, I am aware there are potential dangers lurking in any home. But the scenario that played out in my mom's kitchen was not one I had ever considered. But I gained a new perspective from this experience. A jolt to the brain, both literally and in the best of ways.
When was the last time you stepped on a mountaintop? If recently, then you probably know the hiking drill. If not, it can't hurt to brush up on the do's and don'ts of hiking etiquette. No matter how short or long your trail, being smart goes the distance when it comes to the outdoors.
Emergencies test the fabric of the community and attest to the importance of citizen engagement. In cities with large urban poor populations, planning not only mitigates potential financial and human losses, it also provides a baseline measurement of what survival means for a community.
Disaster, especially terrorism, notwithstanding its horrific initial impact on lives and property, takes its greatest toll, over time, by destabilizing the emotional -- and thus economic -- fabric of a community, state or nation.
Their stories sound the same, with small variations, punctured by half sentences, and words such as fear, "had to flee," "on the road for four days," "could not take anything with us," "husband left behind," "life turned upside down."
"Everything that we worked to build up has been destroyed. If the village captain hadn't gathered everyone together during the typhoon, we probably wouldn't be here right now. Our homes have almost all been destroyed or washed away, except for a very few."
For the first time, not only did I want to study academically, I couldn't get enough of it. Here I was in one of the best universities in the world listening to the highest level professors and learning so much.