12 June, 2009

Surfing Liberia

I met up with a friend a couple weeks ago that I had worked in Liberia with back in 2006. While we were catching up, he told me about a surf resort that had opened up recently. I had heard about Liberia’s great surfing when I was there, and even tried it myself with no success. When we went to the beach, however, there were no hotels or anything, so the option for overnighting (it was a 2 and a half hour drive from the capital, and night travel was not safe) was pitching a tent on the beach and bringing all the food and cooking stuff you needed to cook over a fire of wood you could collect around.

The resort isn’t so fancy yet. It’s got nice canvas safari tents to sleep in that have beds, tables, chairs, and power. And they have a bathroom with toilets and showers. It sounds pretty similar to the way I lived most of the last year I was in Sudan. But, it is currently mostly relief workers who make the trip from Monrovia for a weekend or a holiday, so there are not enough tourists to make it worthwhile to build something too luxurious yet. However, I’m sure it won’t be long until the condos will be going in and people will be coming in from other countries and enjoying some of the best surfing in the Northern Hemisphere.

It’s encouraging to know that people are beginning to think that Liberia is safe enough to begin investing in tourism and activities that can draw people into the country that has scared so many away. You can see a video from several years ago of surfing in Liberia here. Plus, BBC News just had a picture article about surfing in Liberia. And here are some other photos:

01 June, 2009

Apple Pie

It has recently been pointed out to me that I've still been posting about Sudan even though I've been in the States for a while. At that point, Roller Derby is the only thing about life in the States I'd posted about. So, I think it's about time I make a post to America's Pastimes.

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet. I've enjoyed all of these in the past few weeks. In fact, just yesterday I enjoyed all of them but apple pie. I watched the Clemson Tigers beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys (a very American mascot) and continue their journey in the NCAA baseball tournament while watching a fan in front of me eat two delicious looking chili dogs (if they weren't $5 at the ballpark, but more like the $1.50 that is still overpriced but reasonable that you'd pay at Sonic, I would have enjoyed more than just the smell and appearance of said dogs and gotten to appreciate the taste), and I went to the game in my Chevy.

Although I have enjoyed America's Pastimes, I have some concerns regarding them right now. I am a Yankees fan (I didn't jump on the bandwagon... I was a huge fan in the late 80s when they had one of the longest pennant droughts in team history, but had the likes of Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield. I watched as the likes of Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, and Joe Girardi were added and led the team to the start of the recent domination) and with the building of the new stadium and the reports of sky-high ticket prices, it is disappointing that fewer and fewer "normal" people are able to go to games. Hot dogs now get a bad rap for containing all kinds of leftovers of pigs and scraps collected off of floors or whatever other rumors people have started, as well as being way overpriced at any athletic event anywhere in the country. And Chevrolet is part of GM, which is filing for bankrupcy protection. It seems as if America is about to solely rely on apple pie to pull us through. Thankfully, it is still something that happens most often at a household level and no person or corporation has really been able to claim rights to or fame for their apple pie. As long as it stays in the hands of the people, I think apple pie will remain a standard in the good old U.S. of A.

Yum, Yum