Greater Appreciation

Gordon Driving on African Highway

Note: I’ve been trying to upload more pictures, but the connection is too slow.  Will post more as soon as I can.

When I’m totally candid, I have a genuine appreciation for the plight of the people in Liberia…and every now and then my American way gets ahead of itself.  My arrogance leaks into my thinking and I start assume they should be able to solve their problems “just like we do.”

And don’t get me wrong, I am most impressed with some innovative leaders here who are committed to moving their country from being a receiver of compassion to a self-sustaining nation re-built from a devastating war.  But yesterday was a reminder.  We took a trip from Monrovia to Wayzohn.  It was a powerful day spiritually, but let me just paint a picture of physical conditions and circumstances.

We were told before we went that we would have to rent a vehicle for $150 (US Dollars) to go out of town.  Truth is…we were frustrated and wondering if we were Americans being taken advantage of.  In a country where many things are much cheaper than the US and only the wealthiest could afford this, we couldn’t believe we were going to pay that much more for a rental here than in the US (and this was not a nice vehicle!).

Then here’s how our day went…We left home at 5:30 in the morning.  We went about 60 miles on a very decent road that took about 90 minutes. I thought we were in great shape…just another 50 miles or so to go.  And that last 50 miles took over 3 ½ hours.  It was a dirt road.  And it was rainy season.  And for those 3 ½ hours we shook and bounced and started and stopped and turned and twisted.  David, Gordon and I will never complain about potholes in NWI again!

We passed multiple vehicles that were stuck or broken down.  I’m sure we wore out all the shocks in that vehicle on the way there…because the trip home last night was even more miserable and one hour longer!  $150 was a steal!!  You would have had to pay me $1500 to let you take one of my vehicles for that 220 mile round trip.

It is just a good reminder for me that I in my second visit to the country I’m still totally naïve about the struggle Liberians face.  Liberian leaders told our team that was here in the winter that transportation was one of their major challenges.  I never had come close to understanding that.  Or many other things.

~ by Greg Lee on August 6, 2010.

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