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Liberia is such an inspiring place to visit. I have had the pleasure of working with local communities on forest issues. Charles Taylor used timber to trade for arms and the forests of Liberia suffered as did the people by losing this much needed revenue. Liberia houses 2/3rd of the upper Guinean Rainforest and is home to many endemic species. After the sanctions of diamonds Taylor turned to the forests.
I have been working on conflict timber with local forest NGOs since 2001. I finally visited in Feb 2006 and worked with several local NGOs to do capacity building, investigation of the new Governance initiative, GEMAP, and helped with strategic planning.
This country is emerging from 14 years of war, UN peacekeeping trucks still dominate the road and displacement camps still house thousands of people. There is no electricity in the country and businesses, govt and people must use generators powered by gas to have lights. Despite all this the people there were so kind and welcoming. I felt like a member of the family and will always cherish my experience there and look very much forward to going back.
I have to say that now nothing really bothers me because I realize how lucky I have been to live in the US not live in fear of dying tomorrow. No matter how much something might bother me as long as I have a warm place with lights to sleep in I am happy. It is amazing how grounding it can be to visit a place like this.
I spent some time on the Firestone planation which was mind blowing. Slavery does still exist in the world and Firestone is an example. yes people are ‘paid’ but the wages are hardly more than the exporting the costs of slavery to Liberia. If you want to learn more go to stopfirestone.orgover 6 years ago
When i was 18 i went to Liberia for 3 months to stay with my brother who was in the peace corps. the first day there they hung 6 people in the center of town and let them hang there all day. other than that i have the most beautiful memories of Liberia. It breaks my heart with all that is going on there over the past 20 yearsover 6 years ago
I was in the Peace Corps, two years, living near Fissibu at the Zorzor Teacher Training Institute. I taught math there to high school students who were training for a teacher certificate and getting their high school diploma.
It was an amazing experience and changed my way of looking at the world. This had as much to do with it being the Peace Corps as it did with it being in Liberia, however.over 7 years ago
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