General Updates

John KendejaSo first of all let’s talk about the surfing. It’s been getting good lately. This picture to the left was taken at Kendeja, 30 minutes from where I live. And yes, that is me on that lovely little wave. It’s a still from a video that a friend took, so excuse the poor quality. This past weekend I was at Robertsport where we had 8′-10′ waves. I caught the biggest, longest, and awesomest wave of my life there. I was at Shipwreck beach, 100 meters away from the rocks where the shipwreck is, and I ended up past the next set of rocks, being dragged towards the 3rd set of rocks. It was sick. Sadly, my video crew wasn’t there. But I’m looking forward to more big rainy season waves.

People at inaguration watchingNow onto some old business, Barack Obama became the president of America, and this was a very exciting time for people here. A large group of Americans and caring internationals gathered at the Krystal Ocean View hotel to watch the inauguration. A lot of Liberians were very excited. Everyone that was anyone had their Barack Obama t-shirt on

Amy and I rocking out at the inagural ball

Not to be outdone by Americans, back in America a couple of true patriots threw an inaugural ball here. They hired the band from Garden Cafe which was a great choice. Those guys played all the latest hits, as well as some classics. As they night whined down they let Amy Kirkwood play guitar while I played bass. I haven’t played bass in a long time, so I enjoyed the chance to play. It was also nice surprising my friends with a hidden talent. Thankfully Amy played the only 2 songs I know how to play, Sweet Home Alabama and Steve Miller’s the Joker.

Outside of Nancy Doe MarketPepper and bitter ballsAs part of my research duties I toured the Nancy Doe Market on 5th street in Sinkor. As you can see this is no ordinary African market. This 3 story concrete structure gives the market ladies (and a few guys) shade and a safe place to setup shop. You can find pretty much everything here, from the peppers pictured below, to rice, oil, and even the African version of Tupperware.

Traffic in Monrovia(2)

Finally we come to the issue of traffic. The past couple of weeks Chinese contractors have been painting the lines on the newly paved roads. While this is great news, especially when trying to decide what lane you’re in at night; it has caused some of the worst traffic I’ve ever seen. While it lacks the awe inspiring glory of a 16 lane parking lot in Atlanta, the halting of Monrovia’s only thoroughfare through town completely incapacitates the city.

This is only made worse by government employees, who are a little over zealous about getting to work on time, hoping over and driving in the wrong lane. Twice I’ve nearly had head on collisions with people who think they really need to be on time. Which is interesting, given that Liberia is not known for being punctual? I understand the President and Vice President have certain security concerns to worry about, so they get to drive in my lane of traffic, but it’s a little dangerous to the rest of us when every other government big wig comes flying around the corner in my lane. Hopefully, this will stop once the traffic resumes its usual level of chaos.

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3 Responses to General Updates

  1. luca says:

    wow. this last part on traffic is so funny. reminds me of naples: no officers, total anarchy. that’s the only way it could work. ah, never pass when it’s green, only when it’s red light 🙂

  2. Ralf says:

    Hi John,
    it is always a pleasure to read your news from Liberia. It reminds me always of my 7year stay in that country!
    Ralf (ex CLUB Beer)

  3. Prateek says:

    It is so amazing to read your blog..
    I am kinda living it all vicariously….