This past Friday I went to Cuttington University with Jerry Mwagbe, a Liberian who works for Kennesaw State University and is on loan to Cuttington for the year. Cuttington is Liberia’s top private college. Kind of like the Harvard of Liberia. Located in Gbarnga, Bong County, Cuttington is a solid 3 hours outside of Monrovia. Though the road is paved all the way and only 120 miles long, there are still enough pot-holes to keep your average speed down to 40 MPH.
So we arrived in Cuttington just before dark. I had hoped to arrive earlier, but Jerry had been delayed by the Ministry of Finance. The campus was beautiful at sun down and became even more beautiful at night. I walked out of the dining hall talking to a student, looked up, and nearly fell over. I couldn’t believe how many stars there were. I seriously hadn’t seen a night sky like that since I was 12. I could even see the Milky Way. I just kept looking up with my head thrown all the way back. The Liberian I was with couldn’t quite understand what I found so amazing about the sky he saw every night. I tried to explain it but I don’t think he fully got it.
The university was really nice. I could only tour the campus at night, but I was impressed. The science building had a proper lecture auditorium that had clearly been very nice before the war. On the floor of the auditorium was a big table with that standard indestructible black counter top and a sink with a rubber hose adapter for performing all manner of scientific experimentation. Their library was also pretty nice. It even had a computer lab.
Jerry is returning to the states for the summer so I was able to attend his going away party. At the party they had a time for people to come up and tell jokes. Some I didn’t understand at all, some I understood and just didn’t find funny, but one was really good, at least to me and my western since of humor:A bad Liberian dies and goes to hell. He first walks up to the American Hell and asked, “What do you do here?” The door keeper replied, “The Devil beats you for an hour, you sit in an electric chair for another hour, and then lay on a bed of nails.” He walked up to the Chinese hell and asked again what they did. The door keeper replied, “The Devil beats you for an hour, you sit in an electric chair for another hour, then lay on a bed of nails, and everyone older than you gets to hit you on the head.” Finally he came up to a hell with a very long line. Seeing a black door keeper he asked if it was the Liberian hell. It was. He asked what they did, “The Devil beats you for an hour, you sit in an electric chair for another hour, and then lay on a bed of nails.” Was the reply.“That’s the same thin all the other hells do, why is the line so long here?” “Well the Devil is a public servant, so he comes in, signs the time sheet, and leaves. There’s no electricity so the electric chair doesn’t juke you. We gave a contractor money to buy nails, he left and never came back.”