July 24, 2009

This is the view from the hill above the gate at Cuttington University.  As with most roads in the interior, they disappear quickly into the bush…the pine trees on the highways in Georgia can be thick…but this stuff here, redefines thickness…I’ll write tomorrow about how dark it can get 🙂  This is just one of the many views of the interior…strangely beautiful, no stores, commercial signs, exits…just bush…and it keeps going, and going, and going…oh yeah…there are no toilets and there are plenty…each bush or no  bush 🙂  The gate is entirely brand new!

View from Campus Gate

I don’t believe I mentioned this in prior posts; however, a huge opportunity for me is that this coming Sunday (July 26th) represents the 162nd anniversary for the founding of the country.  This is a big deal every year…and they also have the celebration in different parts of the country each year to promote engagement and development.  This year the celebration is in Grbanga, Suakoko, Bong County.  Madame President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will be here along with only God knows how many other people.  This should be interesting.  Last year and sat not to far from her at a football/soccer game when the national team played Senegal at (SKD) Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium…again, this stadium was renovated and donated by the Chinese…is the international politics getting any clearer 🙂

First thing upon arrival, we stopped by the gate because some of the President’s team were there organizing an event:

Iron Ladies

Minister of Foreign Affair King-Akerele (Stylish Liberian outfit facing us) and Minister of State Parkinson (Lady in Black)…they were discussing the dedication of the monument for Madame Suakoko that I mentioned earlier.  With all the events that will be taking place later this week and this weekend, I’ll be sure to post some pics on those…but, those of you who know me…also know that I can be anti-social some times…so lets keep our fingers crossed…may turn into Jeremiah Johnson…but, I won’t wander to far…just back to my place 🙂 …speaking of my place:

Guest House

This is my day to day abode…it is the guest house…very simple accomodations…it holds a few rooms for out of towners.  The great thing is that it is the rainy season…so the temperature doesn’t get above 82 everyday…thank da lawd 🙂  Whew, last time I was here in April, it was like an episode out of the Green Mile, where Wild Bill was screaming…they’re cookn em boss, they’re cookn em…ooooweeee, I can smell em…even being from savannah…it was hot as…you get the picture…and no air…so I am thankful 🙂

This is the road I walk several times a day…once in the morning, twice in the afternoon, and once in the evening…beautiful rich red dirt…of course as you walk…things are running next to you in the grass…I say things because you don’t necessarily see them, but you hear them and know that they are there 🙂  Let your imagination take it from there 🙂

Morning Walk

Very peaceful walk.  Gives you time to think…is there anything else to do…reflect on life, capture of the benefit of slowing things down.  Coming around the first bend before you walk up the hill…you come to the fish farm.  Yes, the fish farm.  They have several ponds off the side of this road where they are raising fish.  They also raise chickens and cattle…in fact, you see chickens everywhere…and I do mean everywhere…it is almost as if everyone has a few…and the little chicks are also everywhere…these are the chicks I saw this morning on the way into the office…sweet little pieces of meat 🙂  especially with some palm oil and pepper 🙂


Also on the way into work, I usually pass the fellas who maintain the fish farms…they use cutlasses to cut the grass…a cutlass is like a piece of metal…maybe about 2.5 feet…the metal at the end of it is loose…so that when you swing it…it can go parallel to the ground and cut the bush/grass…the ones I have seen thus far…the blade is just several inches long…so when you use a cutlass you are going to work!  In the states, sometimes we have to bust a head to get our kids to cut grass with a lawnmower…could you imagine home many times children services would have to come to the house if we made them use a cutlass 🙂

Working the Farm

Don’t remember if I posted this before, but this is my little temporary work area…very comfortable…great view…they have made me feel right at home…

My Temp Office

One thing about this experience that stands out for me…we have quantified human life so much…put such emphasis on income and wealth…however, out here…I have to make some adjustments because there is nothing to buy…so I don’t need that much money…I have what I need.  Sometimes, our thoughts on poverty are based upon what we impose on others…and that really says more about ourselves than other people.  Regularly someone will walk up and offer me something…they may not have much…but, they value what they have…and more importantly they are willing to share what they have…interesting comparison to life in the states…where we often times don’t even know the name of the person across the street.   So it is a real special experience to become a part of the group.  Yesterday, a woman brought me some bananas…I looked at them for a minute…then ate one…and let me tell you…that was the best DAMN banana I have ever had…it even tasted like a banana 🙂 …crazy American…in fact, it was better than a banana…it was fresh, rich in flavor…and it meant something to the person who gave it to me…which made it even better!  It meant the world to me!

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