The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

PBPL 85 Drafts Policy Memo During their Final Few Days in Liberia

The 2017 PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership class takes one final group picture in matching white shirts courtesy of a tourism company. 

The editors of the 2017 PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership course's policy memo, Ray and Garrison, are hard at work finishing up the memo.

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After looking forward to our Liberia trip for nearly six months, I can’t believe that it is almost over! Oh, how I will miss my fresh* papaya and pancakes in the morning! Oh, how I will miss our giant van and our lovely drivers, Bedna, James, and Jimmy! Oh, how I will miss the cultural landmark that is Monroe Chicken… actually, I probably won’t miss Monroe Chicken that much. 

In our last few days in Liberia, we are all working hard to complete our memo, especially since we all seemed to procrastinate writing our citations until the very end. Last night (technically early this morning), our diligent editors woke up at 4am to edit our first complete draft, while the rest of the team tried to get some sleep. This afternoon, we took a quick memo break to explore a street fair hosted by the U.S. Embassy, and to grab some lunch at a local Lebanese restaurant. On our excursion, we discovered that Professor Wheelan is not very good at bargaining with street vendors. Since there is little tourism in Monrovia, we were relieved to finally secure a few souvenirs before our trip home tomorrow.

After completing yet another round of memo changes, Professor Wheelan (courtesy of Rocky) treated us to a fantastic dinner at ‘the best restaurant in Monrovia’. Perhaps the highlight of the night was when we were finally able to pay for our meal with a credit card, which was the first we were able to do this all trip! While this achievement was slightly promising, we still hope to address Liberia’s limited banking capabilities in our final memo. Cross your fingers that we finish our memo before we board the plane tomorrow!

*I haven’t gotten violently ill from it yet, but there’s still one more day to go.

Written by Else E. Drooff '18, a 17F PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership course participant

This is part of a series where student reflect on their experiences during the field research portion of the PBPL 85:Global Policy Leadership course. The 2017 PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership class is conducting two weeks of research in Liberia during the off-campus portion of the course, in order to produce a comprehensive policy memo. During Dartmouth’s winter interim, students meet with local policy leaders: politicians, academics, civil society leaders, journalists, business leaders, diplomats, and other in-country experts who help inform their analyses.

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