There seems to be more to the notion that Liberia is considered one of the strongest allies of the United States as US diplomats assigned here constantly express their admiration for the hospitality of the Liberian people, the weather and the country’s unique but undeveloped beaches.
Since the ascendency of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the last two ambassadors, who coincidently have been women, have shown some level of reluctance to leave when their tours of duty ended because of the close bond they developed with the Liberian people.
Ambassador Deborah Malac, whose tour of duty in Liberia will end this month, said though every good thing must come to an end, Liberia will forever remain in her heart.
Ambassador Malac expressed joy over her time spent in the country and noted that she considers Liberia as her “second home”.
The Ambassador made the touching remark when she, along with several other distinguished individuals, was honored by the Eta Epsilon Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at the Paynesville City Hall over the weekend. The Fraternity bestowed on her a National Service Award for her intervention on behalf of the US government during the Ebola epidemic of 2014.
The event was the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s annual scholarship gala and ball, which also coincided with its 109th anniversary. The Fraternity was founded in 1906.
“Two weeks from now I will be on an SN Brussels flight leaving Liberia, which brings an end to my assignment to the country,” Ambassador Malac said.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in Liberia; all of it, the good, the bad, ups and downs.”
Ambassador Malac heads to Uganda for her next assignment.
She said it was an honor to represent the United States in Liberia. “Together we have done a lot and we have still got a lot of work to do. President Obama has called me up to honor another job across the continent to Uganda so I won’t be too far away from Liberia.
“I will miss the ocean, the weather and most of all the Liberian people, who made me feel very much at home during my tour of duty in the country,” she said.
“It was a kind of real pleasure to meet some of you, and there are still other great people that I never had the opportunity to meet. As I leave, Liberia will be in my heart.”
The US diplomat said though she is leaving Liberia, she is forever willing to help in whatsoever way the country will need her to advance its development agenda, in “…whatsoever that will be required for me to be of help and of service to Liberia to ensure that together we can reach that point that we see the Liberia of our dreams.”
“It was my privilege to serve here with all of you,” she said.
The President of the AΦA chapter in Liberia, T. Nelson Williams, lauded Ambassador Malac for her enormous services to the Liberian state and the level of bilateral agreements, through her, the US government has initiated in Liberia.
“You have been of great help to the Liberian state and we are grateful for your time with us. We highly appreciate your contribution to our development agenda,” he said.