Ebola outbreak leaves Liberian man in limbo — in Richmond

Posted at 12:13 AM, Oct 23, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. - When Rev. Emile Sam-Peal traveled to Richmond in July, he never imagined he would still be here at the end of October.

"We were planning to go back the last week of August," Sam-Peal said.

Sam-Peal originally came to Richmond for a conference. He lives in Liberia, where the Ebola outbreak is ravaging the country.

"When we got to the states, unfortunately the Ebola crisis got out of hand and blew up and airlines started suspending flights to Liberia," he said.

He said British Airways suspended his flight and could not put him and his wife on a different airline. He said he now has to wait three to five months for a refund.

"Right now we have a reservation returning the end of November," said Sam-Peal, "We're hoping by then we would have gotten our refund."

However, the reverend said the Ebola outbreak is not just about cancelled travel plans. He is a principal at a school in Liberia and said it has become an economic issue.

"Folks have lost their jobs, schools through the country are closed, folks have become hungry," he said.

Still, despite what might be happening in West Africa, Sam-Peal said he is ready to just be home.

"Do you have any fear of returning home to Liberia?" asked CBS 6's Chelsea Rarrick.

"No, certainly not," said Sam-Peal "That's home for me even though Ebola is still in the country, when we get back home we just have to take necessary precautions."