Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lessons Learned in Greenville

Instead of boring you with a play-by-play of my trip to Sinoe County last week, I will instead take this opportunity to tell you what I learned.

1. First and foremost, the war destroyed this city. The houses, the port (which is now closed but is to re-open soon), the churches... they are all amazing remnants of what used to be.

2. It is important to always carry to machete, shovel, axe, and rope when travelling anywhere....
... you never know what you will need to chop down, pass through or get pulled out of.
3. Getting out to help push is not always in your best interest.

4. When sliding through mud, accidents do happen. Wear your seat belt and hang onto the "Oh Shit" handles.

5. Walking across bridges is much safer than driving across them.

6. Sometimes getting to work is a lot harder than the work itself.

7. Don't always believe what you hear. Located right between Sinoe River and the ocean, Greenville is supposedly known for its good fresh fish. Before I left I heard you could buy lobster for $1USD. When I arrived I found the fishing dock and fishing nets empty. All my food was served with dried fish. No fresh fish, let alone, lobster, for me. Bad timing on my part.

8. Money does grow on trees. Well, sort of. This is a Firestone rubber buying station. Those white sacks are filled with unprocessed rubber. I was told this pile is worth about $5000 USD.

9. When you see a fan plugged into a light bulb (with no light switch so to turn it off and on you have to turn the bulb left and right), stay away- use your headlamp and suffer in the heat.

10. If you are given a room lock that looks like the one you used when you were 9 to lock your Hello Kitty diary, don't leave valuables inside (even if it says "Safe").

11. Shower floors are just as good sitting up against the wall as they are down on the floor.

12. REI makes the best bug nets in the world. Bring it everywhere you go. It fits perfectly on top of the mattress if you forgot your thermarest and dont want to sleep on the hard floor.

13. Charles Taylors ship didn't stand a chance. During the war, this ship was carrying arms for Taylors rebel forces. As soon as it reached close to the Greenville port, ECOMOG bombed it.

14. Neither did this ship. This was the only passenger boat that travelled from Greenville to Monrovia. Last year, they overloaded it with goods (bags of rice, motorbikes, people) and it sank. I was told they are removing it this weeeknd. What a coincidence.

15. My counterpart does an awesome Michael Jackson impression. Awesome as in horrible. Its more like a really black man marching in place while playing the air guitar. Damn I wish I had a photo.

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