one road trip, it was easy to understand why I preferred flying to
Zwedru. Of course, that was a "take your life in your hands"
experience. But, anything that happened to me didn't compare
to the trip my friends took in a missionary plane. That pilot
had no radar and could only fly visually. As a storm eliminated
all visibility, they had to fly along the course of a river as the
tree tops came closer and closer.
were amazed as they pulled into the Zwedru parking station.
(A name I thought was so perfect for a bus station since you parked
yourself there and waited hours or days.) Zwedru was the home
town of the president / dictator Samuel Kanyon Doe. He made
sure that Zwedru had electricity -- occasionally, and for sure if
he was in town -- along with street lights along the divided boulevard.
There was nothing else like it anywhere in the bush.
had some of the few paved roads outside of the capital. Still,
most side streets in town were dirt. Buildings in the city were
usually covered with zinc. It didn't provide the ambiance of
thatch, but it did last longer and kept the bugs out that liked to
nest in the thatch.
it was the president's home town, there had to be a lot of Peace Corps
Volunteers there. It was a political thing. So, there
were usually about six or eight volunteers in town, along with about
that many Europeans working on development projects and the same amount
for the missionary community.
had been a really fortunate opportunity for me to take the class in
Kakata with 600 Liberian teachers. I had a foothold in Zwedru
as soon as I arrived. The people who remained closest to me
throughout the experience in Grand Gedeh were the teachers I met that
first month in the country.