liberia_parting_pix1.jpg (8201 bytes)

Vai Dancers

liberia_parting_pix2.jpg (22756 bytes)

Bush School Graduates

liberia_parting_pix3.jpg (8927 bytes)

What a log!

liberia_parting_pix4.jpg (10523 bytes)

Phillip and Martin

COMING TO GO  ...........  The Liberian term used when you were getting ready to leave was "coming to go".  And, the two years went so quickly that I was coming to go before I was ready.  It had been two years with a lot of warm smiles, hot food, and African sunsets. 

One very neat moment in Zwedru was the day I saw the two girls who graduated from their tribe's bush school.  It was not a common site at all.  When they wore the white paint, the girls were considered invisible.  I wasn't sure if they would let me take their picture.   I rushed home for my camera.  I was prepared to beg, plead, grovel, and pay any amount of money.  As it turned out, the girls were just as pleased as I was. 

All too soon my time in Zwedru was over.  About the only things I wouldn't miss were bouts with malaria and the logging trucks that never cared who they ran off the road or covered in a layer of dust.  And, I must say, I wouldn't miss public transportation on dirt roads. 

I knew I wouldn't forget Liberia.  I also knew that I would not be soon forgotten.  One of the my principals had twin sons.  He told me he wanted me to name them.  I said they needed good African names and then dismissed it from my mind as I left town.  Later, I asked him what they named the boys.  They were still waiting for me to come to the house and name them.  When I arrived at the house, later that day, the father put Martin Lowon (night) in my arms.  Phillip Sowon (day) was soundly sleeping.  Those were the names they had received earlier in the day.   Obviously, they were just absolutely adorable babies.   I never expected to leave any little Martins behind me in Africa or any little Phillips.

I left Zwedru on a good note.  My best Liberian friends walked me to the parking station and waited for the departure.   At a Peace Corps party, I got the "Road Less Traveled" award because I took the roads less traveled, and without me, the roads would be less traveled.

Copyright 1999 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.