Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The real post on Liberia

Tuesday April 17, 2012  Liberia and cruising to  Sierra Leone After our two days in Ghana we really needed the relaxation of a day and a half at sea.  We had some excellent lectures.  One by Shawn about The impact of the civil war in Liberia on two specific people, and another by Jack Swenson about his family's involvement with the slave trade.  Tom gave a lecture on "White Gold" (sugar ), and how  it influenced both the slave trade and the course of history.   Last night we had a slew of dignitaries on board , as well as lots of press coverage.  It turns out that the NG Explorer is the first passenger ship to come to Liberia since their civil war which ended nine years ago in 2003, and that we have set a record for the most people coming through the port in one day.  We had the Charge des affaires from the US Embassy, and the Liberian Vice President and several cabinet members.  Everyone dressed up in their glad rags.  I happened to be standing next to the bar when the VP and his entourage arrived.  They were seated near me, so I had a good view. It was an early wake up call today, with breakfast at 5:45 AM.  I went canoeing through the mangroves in dug out canoes.  The village where we began and ended had been the site of a large massacre.  There was a simple cross, and a temporary sign on laminated paper marking the mass grave.   It was very peaceful in the river amongst the mangroves.  We saw a couple of beautiful malachite kingfishers, a small bird with a brilliant orange beak, and iridescent blue feathers, a black kite, and some white faced whistling ducks. Tomorrow I will be going to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, so it will be a wonderful day.

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