We spent our last day with the Youth and Sport Minister. She gave us a different side of the amputees. Why are they poor, homeless, and begging? Well, frankly, much of it falls on their shoulders, according to her. Or at the very least, their management.
It's not just about soccer, she told me. It's about becoming valuable members of society. That's what the amputees have neglected to do.
I hear her. I do. And to some of the players, it rings true. But others, like the many talented people we met over eight days in this impoverished West African country, are products of unfortunate circumstance. And even the strongest of men have a hard time digging themselves out of these ditches.
When you see the Liberian Crusaders of Peace perform in the piece, you'll understand. When you listen to Richard Duo, you'll understand.
We left Monrovia on the red eye. We had a special visitor on the flight: Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. How about that? Too bad we packed our camera batteries. I would have snuck up front for an interview - one her communications dep't blew off... Though I couldn't have been happier with the way the Minister's interview went.
Leaving Brussels now. Bound for DC. Cheers to those that visit Monrovia in the future and can fly direct from Atlanta.