UA-63899747-1 Back to Liberia – LAST DAY and LAST POST – Nzinga Harrison, MD
Back to Liberia Day 9
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February 22, 2014

I am typing this post from JFK Gate B37 as I wait for my connecting flight to home sweet home!   My last day in Liberia was great.  I went to the home of Josephine (the aunt of the young man I cared for the previous day) for a relaxing morning and delicious lunch.  On the way to her house, we stopped by to see James, who had made it through the night without using, despite having severe cravings.  He used all of the tools we reviewed in his session instead of sneaking out.  What a VICTORY!!!   Josephine was so grateful, and I was so hopeful.   We went to Josephine’s house which is right on the river and absolutely incredible.  Her husband is an architect, and she has an uncanny eye for using everyday things to create spectacular design.  You’ll see the pictures of their home – it was GREAT.  We laid in hammocks.  We ate fish that her husband had caught from the river, cassava leaf picked from her garden, fresh sliced pineapple picked from her yard.   While we were eating, she told a young man to go in the front yard and pick me a coconut.  He scaled the tree, grabbed one, cut it open and poured me a glass of fresh coconut water.  When I say it was the life, I mean it was the life!  In her front yard, she had mango trees, pineapples, lettuce, tangerine trees, orange trees, plantain trees, coconut trees and probably something I’ve forgotten.  All of them bear fruit year round.  Now that's what I call ORGANIC.

Peter, my driver, picked me from her house to take me to the airport.  We had to brave the traffic around the football stadium and it was like nothing I have ever experienced before.  Trust me when I say, you have nothing to complain about next time you are in rush hour traffic!   Finally we made it (after I died of heat exhaustion and dehydration at least twice) and I started the 20 hour trip home.  The rest of the trip was regular travel stuff, so here is my last list of observations.

  1. Bowels of Steel.  That’s right.  I have them.  12 days in rural Africa eating any and everything and not one day of diarrhea.  How you like me now?!
  2. Redheads – I was thinking in Africa that there were more natural redheads than I would expect.  Well, it turns out the adults are dying their hair red (I figured that out) and the children that have red hair are malnourished causing their hair to turn red.  So that was sad.
  3. All of the children in school wear uniforms.  So morning and afternoon commute is cool because the longer you stay on a road the more groups of children you see going to school in their different colored uniforms.
  4. Mohawks have made it to Liberia.  Mostly the twenty-somethings.
  5. The radio is interesting.  It plays 4-5 songs of the same artist in a row, and sometimes the same song several times in a row.
  6. The same dynamic exists in Liberia for rural vs city folk.  You know, the rural folk are friendlier, seem to follow the customs more.  The city folks are a bit more rebellious.   For example, in Gbarnga, when the driver beeps the horn, people automatically scoot to the side of the road, like a reflex.  In Monrovia, they look at him like you can wait for me to get out of the way as I cross the street as slowly as I damn well please…
  7. Beats by Dre have made it to Liberia.  Mostly, you see the motorcycle drivers wearing them.
  8. Even though it was 85 degrees each morning and there was no a/c, we drank hot tea for breakfast every morning because it was winter time.
  9. Liberian women are busty and bootylicious.  If you like curvy, brown-skinned women, Liberia just might be the place for you 🙂


And that’s it.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my experiences almost as much as I enjoyed living it.  Tomorrow I will be back to regular routine and there’s no reason to blog about that!

Pictures of Josephine’s house along with a couple of football stadium traffic pics can be found here:


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