United We Stand – And Work

Don’t just follow footsteps but walk in someone else’s shoes.  It will change your life.

It was “pitch dark” inside and members tippy-toed in the house trying to get ready at 4:30 am to head toward the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in Morgantown, West Virginia.  The night before Dr. Kostroff came up with an ingenious idea:  to select students for this assignment by “casting lots.” Seven students were selected.  Mr. Artie, our host, was on time at 5:00 am and we all hopped into the van.

As the van went outside of our dorm house fence, he were reminded us that we were no longer in the concrete jungle, but in this beautiful countryside which had untamed wild animals, including bears running around tearing up the garbage, and dragging it up the hill.  We reached the stop where we were expected to transfer to another bus to Morgantown to take part in the conference for the fight and awareness on black lung disease, but unfortunately we were told that only 2 students were allowed to go along with the professor.   Dr. Warner decided to use the same technique as Dr. Kostroff used the previous day to select students for the trip.

Sascha and Nadege were the ones that got selected.  They went with Dr. Werner as representative on behalf of Monroe College and Global Volunteers to raise our voices and be a part of the cry for help and raise the awareness of black lung disease on the public stage.

After a long day, we got back to the house and had dinner.  After dinner, we had a meeting with our energetic team leader Ms. Sue who walked us through the goals we accomplished through the previous day and commended us on a job well done.  We then spoke about goals for tomorrow.  Our day ended with Dr. Kostroff giving us clear instructions for the next day’s tasks.  We are ready to accomplish what today has to offer and make the change one day at a time.   Moral – United we stand, divided we fall.

– Karen

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