Friday, December 22, 2006

Back From Liberia

December 22, 2006

I arrived in Monrovia just after the sun had gone down, leaving a thick yolk-yellow band of color all across the horizon with a midnight blue mottled sky above and nothing but blackness below: orange, midnight blue and black. The colors of Africa. Next came the smell: a strong musky odor made up of sweat, heat, fumes, spice, and the acrid smoke from a hundred burning coal fires. It hits you like a slap as soon as you walk down the ladder, an almost suffocating odor from which there is no escape.

The city is almost completely trashed, the buildings looted and ransacked with even the wires having been ripped from the walls. People live in ramshackle huts with tin roofs held up by crooked beams. I saw a family of wild pigs including the boar rutting in an empty field right across from the American Embassy. I saw men sleeping in wheelbarrows. I saw turds rolling in the surf and a boy wiping his behind the morning I walked on the beach. There are very few roads in the whole country, no sewage system, no trash collection, no clean running water. Liberia can hardly be called a country, in fact. And yet, in spite of all this, I have never met more magnificent human beings in my life.

More later.

Thanks for caring.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Jean Feraca

Thanks for being one of the few media platforms to report this wonderfully hopeful story of how a woman with diligence and a fresh view toward leadership can bring political and social changes to a primitive African, third world country. Perhaps, this story may serve as the impetus toward bringing political and social change to this technically advanced, but politically and socially corrupt government that has brought ruin to much of Africa, the middle east and many other parts of this beautiful planet.

With great appreciation for your work!

Your San Diego Fan Club