Zorzor & Zwedru Murals.......Local News.......Liberian Travels.......E-mail


liberia_transport_pix1.jpg (11281 bytes)

An Illegal Photo

liberia_transport_pix2.jpg (10927 bytes)

On the move to Zwedru

liberia_transport_pix3.jpg (5031 bytes)

Red Dust on Green Leaves

liberia_transport_pix4.jpg (12387 bytes)

Dust Magnet

liberia_transport_pix5.jpg (7793 bytes)

Rainy Season -- another story

ZWEDRU  ...........  You never knew what to expect when traveling.  On my first trip to Zwedru, I sat in the back corner of the van, gasping for fresh air while gas fumes poured in from behind.  I could not keep my eyes open.  However, they were open when we hit the first bump and the door fell off.  I couldn't believe what I'd just seen.

I was dropped in Ganta to find my next connection, a pickup this time, which had two benches and too many people in it.   When they saw me, they said, "You are too tall and will suffer too much back here.   We'll put you up front with the driver."  Did I complain?  The back of that "money bus" reminded me of a Nazi train car.  I was sure I'd ride in them plenty and I was thankful not to do it on that occasion.

The border sign with a guard wasn't a legal photo.  You could never photograph a soldier.  But, this guy's name was Phillip and after a few trips, I asked if he'd like his picture taken.

The dry season and the rainy season both presented their unique troubles for all transportation.  In the dry season, the problem wasn't the goats wandering on the roads.  They were nothing compared to the dust.  The soil was red clay so the title "Red Dust on Green Leaves" was very appropriate for a book on Liberia.  That dust filtered into every space on the back of the pick up trucks.  It was hard to breathe.  And, it was even worse in the back of the large Mandingo trucks.  What you traded in leg room was made up for in dust.   For whatever reason, I was a dust magnet, covered more than any other person I ever saw. 

In the rainy season, I learned what you got when you mixed meters of rain with dirt roads.  Unbelievable mud holes.  Zwedru became cut off from the rest of the world for weeks at a time.  You never knew how long it would take to travel from Monrovia to my home.  Twelve hours was the minimum.   With breakdowns, mud holes, police checkpoints, and gas shortages, the trip could take days.  I was grateful for having friends who lived along the entire trip.  

There is too much information about life in Zwedru for just one page.  If you want to see more about the town, my home, bucket bathing, the "appliances" that made my life easier, the market,   cooking, and some parting shots, go on to the individual pages for each topic.

Copyright 1999 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.