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Retreat from the Heat

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Catfish -- Liberian Style

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Getting a drink

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Up a creek with(out) a paddle

GREENVILLE  .......    Some people went to Greenville to go to the beach.   The Zwedru Crew did that on several occasions.  However, most people went to Greenville on their way to the Sinoe County River Trip to explore the rain forest.  Between Greenville and Zwedru was Juarzon, Liberia's only national park.  Peak tourist season was February and it felt like I ran a bed and breakfast for volunteers. 

I took the trip with five girls.  Our camp site was five or six hours up river, but that included a stop at a jumping tree.  Yes, we jumped into the river with giant catfish (and didn't see the pythons or crocodiles.)   Then, we hiked into the forest to see monkeys dancing through the tops of trees.   There were also chimpanzee nests above us and elephant tracks underfoot.

One of the more unusual things to see was how you could get a drink from cutting certain vines.  It would have been maddening to be stranded in the forest.  I would have died knowing that I could have survived if I only knew what to do.

And speaking of death, my trip ended with another bout with malaria.  My friends stayed in one room while I shared another with a Swiss couple.  I awoke throwing up on the floor.  In the morning, my friends had gone and I was left in the hands of very caring Swiss and Liberians.

A Peace Corps nurse lived in Juarzon and she took care of me.  Eventually, I was taken to Greenville -- but not to the beach.  If Fansidar didn't work, they were going to fly me to Monrovia.  Fortunately for me, that medicine worked in a matter of hours.

Copyright 1999 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.