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Dr. Miller's Africa Trip-Day 5

Dr. Miller's Liberia, Africa Blog

Day 5, June 6, 2024

Traveling to Marsha, City of Hope Stop, Kokon Resort, Libassa Lodge

Today was a lovely day of rest and relaxation and enjoying the Liberian Countryside.  I traveled with Mrs. Toe, her sister Comfort, our MCSS buddy Eric, and of course our driver, Amos.  Our journeys today took us through 3 counties of Liberia.  Liberia is broken into 15 counties.  On the way to our resort today, we stopped at a special location called City of Hope.  This is a nearly finished facility to serve as a home, school, vocational training and rehabilitation center for less fortunate Liberians.  The project was developed and implemented by former First Lady, Clar Marie Weah.  The facility is absolutely beautiful and even includes a theater.  We were fortunate to be left in by the security gate guard and I offered him to be in the blog!  As we drove on, Mrs. Toe showed us a future home she and Mr. Toe are building in Liberia.  It's not yet finished but the structure is standing and it is located in a beautiful area.  When finished, she will be able to accommodate more comfortably.   We continued on our trek toward Marsha and once there, we stopped by a local fishing community to see how they make their living.  Large fish are caught throughout the day and the people then smoke the fish on large open grills.  After the fish is smoked, it becomes crispy and hard and ready to eat.  While visiting, one of the locals allowed Mrs. Toe and I to get a photo inside his kekhe, the small cars that dart around Liberia.  I still want to ride in one around the city though!  We were then ready to travel to our first resort, Kokon.  To arrive at Kokon, we had to take a boat across the water and then once we arrived, a golf cart to get us to the resort.  The resort was secluded and very beautiful.  Along the way, we drove through an African savannah which is a flat field with little trees.  We drove through the remnants of an old U.S. military base from World War II and you can still see the round-shaped bunkers standing in the savannah that the U.S. Army used between 1939 and 1945 when fighting Germany in the war.  Our driver shared many points of intereset with us but he stressed the importance of the palm tree to the people.  Every single part of the palm tree is used by the people.  The fronds are used for thatch on the roofs, there are other pieces that fall that when banded together can be used as brooms, and the nut that falls is used for soups and even oil.  Once on the resort, we explored the beach and some of the lodges where you can stay.  There was a cool breeze blowing off the ocean and soon I fell asleep.  I was pleasantly woken to a wonderful lobster dinner from Mrs. Toe.  It was just delicious!  We left Kokon and headed back via golf cart and then boat before driving on to Libassa Resort/Lodge.  Libassa was also very beautiful and we posed for some pictures.  Our friend Eric is always ready to share important Liberian history or points of interest with me and he showed me 15 masks that were hanging in one of the Libassa restaurants.  Each mask represents a different county which translates to a different indigenous Liberian tribe.  Eric showed me that his family is part of the Grebo Tribe.  Mrs. Toe posed for a photo by her tribe, The Kru.  I decided my tribe would be the Kissi!  Today was a lovely change of pace from our busy hustle and bustle of downtown Monrovia.  I enjoyed the scenery and company of our friends.  When we arrived back at the hotel, I finally got to take a picture with Miss Monah, one of Mrs. Toe's family members who is staying with us at the hotel.  Monah is gentle and kind and very shy.  She cooks African food daily for Mrs. Toe and sometimes our company.  Monah reminds me of all that is special about the people of Liberia!  I will be in bed early tonight as I have been asked to give a speech as a guest speaker at a very large reception tomorrow for the new leadership of schools.  I am humbled to speak and looking forward to the occasion!  Hope you are all well in America and wishing you the best start to your summer vacation! 

~Dr. Miller, Day 5 June 6, 2024

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