Beaches, Taxis, and Apartments

Loco BeachThe highlight of the week was the weekend camping/surfing trip to Robertsport. All my surf buddies came out for the weekend and quite a few people from the Mercy Ship were there as well. All told there were probably 20 people on the beach. We camped at Loco Beach which is a 20 minute walk from the road. It was super cool to camp out away from civilization, not that you have to go very far to do that in Liberia, but it was cool to be on a little beach with no other signs of humanity. It’s definitely a very cozy beach. I like it a lot. It is also a very beautiful beach, black volcanic rocks sticking up along the coast, white sand, and lush green jungle. On Sunday the water was super clear. While waiting for a wave you could see schools of fish swimming by. When you were up on wave you could look straight through it to the sand below. It was way awesome.

The camp siteAll the folks who came out were really cool. There were even some really good local surfers out with us in the water. The waves were also pretty good. When the set came in the waves would be around 6 or 7 feet. For a while I surfed at Loco beach, but then realized I was a little out of my league since that’s where all the locals where, and so I headed back down the beach to Shipwreck Beach. It was much more suited to my skill level, and I got a couple of good rides in before I became exhausted. I really need to work on my endurance. Either way I was still really happy with the waves I did catch. At one point I could feel the wave breaking down over me. That was pretty exciting. Not really inside the wave, but getting close.

SunsetAll in all a really nice time, I got to relax on the beach some, meet some new people and just enjoy God’s green Earth. It’s too bad the upcoming national holiday on Wednesday couldn’t have been moved to Monday. That would have been perfect, though I don’t know if my body could have held up for 3 days. I was pretty sore and worn out Sunday night. Special thanks to Peter Fullerton who provided me with these nice pictures. I’m still without a camera since I was burglarized. If anyone really wants pictures for future posts they can send me a Canon SD1000 powershot… hint, hint.

This week was pretty busy with work. After Tom and Martin left I had a lot of work to do to make sure our video kiosk project is as successful as possible. This meant I got to do a little more wiring, and working with local carpenters, always a good time.

I road in a taxi for the first time since getting my motorcycle, and much to my surprise they were following the governments new law that only one passenger could ride in the front passenger’s seat. The government has said it would crack down on over loading of taxis, so it was good to see it working. Though the people in the taxi had a discussion about how it affects prices. I asked if it was worth the increased safety to pay more, they said yes, but I’m not sure if they really believed it. The back seat of a taxi still seats four.

Gas has also gone up to $4.05USD a gallon. I’m sure that also affects the price of a taxi.

I’ve moved into a new place. I now live in the Old Star Radio building, which is now called the A-Z building. It’s a really nice place. I have my own bedroom and bathroom. We have AC in most of the rooms of the apartment, and power for 10 hours of the day. Not half bad, pretty much luxury actually. I live with Amanda, Adam, and Gwyn. Amanda and Adam both work for the Clinton Foundation. Gwyn is a PhD student studying the political and economic effects of charismatic Pentecostal Christianity. They are all wonderful folks and I couldn’t be happier.

We also have a maid. Something I’m not very used to. I was definitely raised to do everything for myself. I’m kind of proud of it actually. I also believe in, “if you want it done right, you do it yourself.” But I do find myself really enjoying cooking, and not having to think about cleaning it up. I am getting kinda spoiled. I went from a 60 year old house in Atlanta without so much as a dishwasher, to having a maid do the dishes, put up the dishes, wash the pots, and sweep the floor. It’s not half bad, though I’m not sure how I feel about all of this. On the one hand I’m supporting the local economy, providing a job for someone who no doubt could use one. But I don’t like the class inequalities I feel like this promotes, and I don’t want to turn into a spoiled expat who wants all the little annoyances of life done for him. I guess the key is to still do some things myself, especially when I want them done right, and to treat our maid, Noah, with respect and love.

John
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