I spent my first new year’s abroad this year. Christy from the American School, Andrew, Deb, Jenn, Matt, all from Orphan Relief and Rescue(ORR), and I went up to Robertsport for three days to celebrate the new year. However, we hit a little snag when my transmission blew a seal. I had just received my car back from No Lemon, who up until now I liked a lot, after having two seals replaced. To get to one of the seals they had to take the transmission off, so when the car started having problems I had a good idea of what the problem was.
So with transmission fluid pouring out of my car I had to have Andrew tow me home with his Indian made Tata pick-up, a car that looks like I should be towing it, and not the other way around. In fact, earlier in the day I had made a joke that I brought my tow rope incase the Tata needed to tow the 4Runner back. Now I was very glad that we had the tow rope.
I wasn’t sure how bad it would be to run the engine with the transmission in neutral, but with no fluid. So I left the engine off, which meant no power breaks. On top of this Andrew was a little too excited when he pulled away the first time we tried towing, so the tow rope was rather short. This made for a very hair raising 3 hour trip back to No Lemon. So much so, that Christy couldn’t ride in the front seat. The picture on the right is me getting towed through Dwala market while UNMIL armored troop carriers role past.
But we made it back just fine. No Lemon was apologetic and began looking at the car right away. It turned out that when they put the tranny back on they had neglected to replace the old casket, and it sprang a leak. The car is now running fine, and I didn’t have to pay for anything.
So we went and picked up another vehicle from ORR and headed back to Robertsport. After 10 hours we reached our destination, just before sunset. We didn’t do much the first night. We had hoped to arrive a littler earlier in the day. Andrew and i went out and caught a couple waves before the sunset. The next day, in addtion to being New Year’s Eve, was also the wedding day for Joe’s, the South African owner, brother. So I attended my first beach wedding in Liberia.
It was awesome. The bride pulled up in the sand on a four-wheeler, and I still had my wine glass that I had brought from the bar. Every wedding should be this cool. It was also surprisingly quick. The justice of the peace proclaimed the marriage law of Liberia and then the two were joined. After that we were all invited to a wonderful dinner and some very tasty Champaign.
The highlight of the night was probably the phosphoresce in the water. Some sort of microorganisms, that I know nothing about, glow when they are disturbed in the water, so when we went for our midnight swim every time we moved in the water, the water would glow around us. It was way cool, and made for a great transition to 2009. We also did some minor fireworks as evidenced by this photo to the right.