#71: Rotarian Shares Trip to Africa for Volunteer Work Before Coming Back Under Travel Ban
May 10th, 2020 by Contra Costa Today
On this episode, I chat with Tirrell Muhammad of the Antioch Rotary Club traveled to Africa and was forced to come back early due to the travel ban. He explains the work he was doing for the Rotary International with the International Vision of Volunteers and what Africa was like. He then gets into having to rush back and going through a 14-day quarantine.
- 00:30 – Intro
- 01:26 – Tirrell discusses going to Africa as a Rotarian for International Vision of volunteers to provide optical lens and surgery in Zambia. He also gets into some of the things he saw.
- 07:17 – Tirrell explains traveling when there was a possible travel ban coming and what was going through his head. It was not until he was in London when the ban was a possibility. By the time he was in Johannesburg still no official ban.
- 09:50 – Within a few days of arriving in Africa, the ban was coming. Some of the work they had planned, got crammed into 3-days.
- 12:09 – Tirrell explains the type of work that was being done to help people improve their vision.
- 14:37 – What city in Contra Costa would be closest to the town he stayed in Africa. Tirrell explains the town he was at. Talks about the market, food, and importance of branches. He also shares how most of the homes were only 400 sq feet. He also gets into visiting the “hood or ghetto”.
- 20:47 – Tirrell gets into what he took away from the situation and living life to the fullest.
- 25:00 – IVV also helped set up a library. This is the only library within a 1-2 hour area.
- 27:29 – What is going through his head when the travel ban order comes in. If they didn’t leave, they could potentially still be in Africa.
- 30:20 – How military was used as a fear factor to keep the peace. Explained how it appeared there was no best practices being used.
- 32:19 – Upon landing in SF, Tirrell explains what transpired within the airport and the 14-day quarantine order he was given.
- 40:00 – Reality set in once he returned home and seeing people flocking to the stores for TP and towels and essential items. Great appreciation for people of Zimba and Zambia. Talks about how the Rotary foundation has been set up to do things locally and internationally.
- 49:00 – Tirrell plugs Rotary and how people can get involved or try it out.