This is the largest treatment center in the epicenter of the outbreak, the country of Sierra Leone, home to 273 of the nearly 900 Ebola deaths.
“There were cases of Ebola in the city, but they were quarantined inside hospitals,” Dawson Jope said.
Jope, of Carmichael, was one of 340 people evacuated from the area.
“They removed us, not because we were imminently in danger. The barrier was slowly going to move away,” said Jope.
For Jope, it was a mission trip of a lifetime. But 45 days into a two-year journey with the Peace Corps, he was pulled out because of the largest recorded Ebola outbreak in history.
Despite the two infected Americans being treated in Atlanta, Jope wants people here to understand the general public isn’t at risk.
“There has been some sensationalism of the story. People aren’t properly educated about the virus,” Jope said.
Jope had to undergo a thorough checkup before returning to Northern California.
“I had a full medical screening by my Peace Corps doctors,” said Jope.
For the next 40 days, he’s on administrative hold by the Peace Corps. It means he can`t look for work in any other countries and for this 25-year-old, he has no desire to do so.
“Absolutely [he would go back],” Jope said.
Jope was plucked out of a country, with hardly any time to say goodbye to the people he now calls family.
“Several of my family members cried. My mother cried in my arms several times,” said Jope.
And a place he will forever call home.
“’Munda.’ That was my name, “Munda,” meaning my own. My family gave it to me,” Jope said.