Miscellaneous Moments

Here are some miscellaneous things that I have either forgotten to share or didn’t know where to put…

  1.  One of my happy sights during a daytime rain was when little boys would gleefully run naked through their village rolling a tire (looked like the inner tube from a motorcycle tire) using a tree branch like one of those early-American rolling-a-barrel-hoop-with-a-stick games.
  2. While driving deep in the bush on a rugged dirt road with no one around for miles, Saah would put his blinker on when making a turn.
  3. Sam has a game he seems to play with American missionaries. Much like during my early Boy Scout days when we would send a newbie Scout out to find a left-handed smoke bender for the fire, he puts a “tingo” on my list of supplies to purchase while in Monrovia.  Just by the smirk on his face when he said to add it, I could tell this was some sort of initiation joke.  We still bring up “tingos” when I don’t know something Liberian.
  4. One of the “sand people”, Josephine, has tried various IMG_4127.JPGmethods to move me to give her more money for her sand piles.  The latest one included telling me she was pregnant and needed money for the new baby. The community members started giggling so it confirmed my suspicion it was a hoax and I started joking that it was my baby and had a responsibility to support it by paying more for sand.  She started laughing, left for moment, then came back with her shirt stuffed with leaves to make a pregnant bulge. I had to take her picture.  One of her friends then made the comment that since I was now her husband, she had the obligation to give the sand to me for free!
  5. Two young men hauling sand (early 20’s) were asked to sign a receipt after I purchased their piles.  The one handed the paper to the other, then he handed it back to the first.  Neither could write their names and said, “We’ve grown up in the bush. We can’t read or write so we’ll just make a mark.”  He proceeded to scribble a small circle until it was filled with ink as his “signature”.
  6. With so many people sharing the same bowl of food, the same spoons, the same bucket of drinking water with a common drinking cup, it’s pretty easy to see how IMG_3776.JPGEbola or any other disease could spread quickly in such a community-centric culture.
  7. When I went to the bank to ask if I could send money to myself using a debit card for my account in the states, I was told I had to withdraw the money first, give the agent the cash, then she could use Western Union to wire me the money.  mmmm?
  8. It can take about 10 seconds for my arms to be totally drenched in sweat.
  9. More than one toddler has run from me, screaming at the sight of a white man.
  10. The first water well for the community with a hand pump will be drilled the last week of November.  It has been delayed due to difficulty accessing the site with the drilling rig given the muddy roads.

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