Field trips on bad roads to help good people were moments to remember. (Read about a couple of experiences here). Hours and hours inching along on rocky terrain bumping up and down made me want to walk instead.
I had the best drivers in Liberia. I went out to the field a lot, alone, and they took good care of me. They would patiently answer my endless questions about life there. I relied on them to give me the real scoop, and they did.
I learned about bush meat first hand, after inquiring about the black-furred slab of spare ribs for sale at one roadside stop. “It’s not monkey”, I was repeatedly reassured. On another trip I endured the pungent smell of some similar beast, baking in the direct sun in the SUV for several hours. Once we drove past a prize offered for sale along the road: a ground hog for sale, suspended upside down by his little hind legs on a Y-shaped stick.
The drivers would ask me what the US was like; they wanted to go there some day. We would listen to music and I’d work on my computer. I saw rainbows. I saw tragic accidents. I saw both happiness and despair in people’s faces. And I learned a new euphemism. On long trips there comes a time when a driver needs to relieve himself. “I must check the tires” he’d say, and the tires were always OK. Thankfully.