Once Upon West Africa is a collection of fifty Liberian folk tales that I collected as a Peace Corps Volunteer decades ago. None of the stories end with the words “and they all lived happily ever after.” The tales I collected as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia frequently taught a lesson where the evil, rotten, nasty person - usually that old trickster Spider - gets it in the end.
I remember when my high school French teacher talked about us, her students, going to Paris someday. I never believed it would happen. So, I sampled her French onion soup and even ate an escargot or two, because I really never thought I'd ever leave Ohio. It just didn't happen back then. I didn't know anyone who traveled. Well, life has surprises. Still, I traveled an awful lot of the world before I ever made it to Paris. It took way too many years to get to the City of Lights.
Zwedru was almost unrecognizable. There were some basic buildings I remembered from 1989, but there was so much growth. I was unable to find my two previous homes. They used to be in the bush on the outskirts of town. There was no bush or outskirts where they were once located.
Our Country Director visited the Tenegar Community Clinic to follow up on the impact of donated solar lanterns. We found out that the health center really needs good quality lighting for better health care and reduced mortality for mothers and newborns. So we did research, found a solar suitcase that costs $2000 and contacted We Care Solar.
In 2016, Phillip Martin returned to Liberia where he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1988 and 1989. He traveled for the U.S. Embassy to paint murals with Ebola survivors. And, he painted a mural in his hometown of Zwedru. This blog, and the ones coming after it record his preparations and experience when he went home after so many years.
My name is Krubo Davis and I’m the OIC (officer-in-charge[?]) for Tenegar Community Clinic. As I told you, Sister Miatta, the lights that were given to us are very useful to us.