In Liberian culture, there are multiple ways for a village to come together to support one another. For example, helping someone build their house. Recently, we got the opportunity to do that for Sam, the lab assistant for the clinic. He invited us to join the dubbing party for his home in the nearby village of Yastar. A very common way to build a house here is by dubbing it. This is done by getting very long sticks and tying them together vertically and horizontally. Kind of like a tic tac toe board. After that, you then get mud and throw it on the structure and then spread the mud out until there are no holes left. Mud is free and plentiful in Liberia. This is way more cost efficient than using cement blocks.
When there are houses to be dubbed, it is a whole community event. You invite the whole town including your friends and family. They all show up to help with the dubbing of the house, as well as cook and just hang out. Its a real party. I was really glad I was invited to the dubbing, not only did I get to learn how to dub a house, I also learned a ton about the community. I think it is so amazing that everyone in the community pitches in to help one another. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. It meant a lot to Sam that everyone was there to help him with his house. He has been working really hard to finish it, and is really proud of all the work that was put into it. He really likes having a new house, and he is so thankful for everyone who came and helped.
Kasey (the muddy intern)