[ Voinjama, Liberia ]
Hello everyone, and fondest regards from Country Number Eight on this madcap voyage of ours.
You’ll (not) be shocked to hear that the malaria isn’t yet finished with me. Between Koidu Town and Foya City in Liberia I was prescribed two more courses of anti-malarials, provided blood for three more tests, spent seven nights in three different hospitals, and generally made progress more from sheer force of will than physical well-being.
Not to oversell it, however. I stayed in health facilities not because my condition was serious, but because people were kind enough to allow me to stay for free. The second and third rounds of meds produced none of the misery that the first conjured. A final blood test at a Liberian clinic–run by a French doctor for the Roman Catholic mission–determined that the malaria was gone and that my hemoglobin levels were back to normal (“Drink more water, though–you’re dehydrated,” was his final pronouncement). And so on.
In short, I’m fine…so stop worrying!
Naturally there were a great many adventures in the gaps between health posts, and I’m excited to finally be in a new country. No surprise either that folks here have shown me incredible generosity and hospitality. Since my arrival I’ve switched from healthcare facilities to police checkpoints and barracks (such as my current digs in Voinjama, offered by the local officers…who’ve also been providing me with meals and invaluable advice).
Tomorrow I turn southward, following the interior border through the (still very humid, hilly, and rainy) forest until Guinea ends and Ivory Coast begins. As I understand it, I get to enjoy minimally-potholed gravel highways most of the way there; I take that to mean I’ll have to wade through knee-deep mud for a month. (Better to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised, right?)
You’ll have to forgive the paucity of photographs this go-round–I’ve not been anywhere with electricity in two weeks, and so I have no way to recharge my computer. I’m using all the battery I’ve got to make this brief post and edit a handful of images. More and better are coming, eventually.
All the feelz from Liberia,
Your Favorite Post-Malarial Man-Child,
Foya City was my first real experience in the country, and I was smitten enough to know I could easily live here. The town has the dubious distinction as the location where Liberia’s Ebola outbreak began back in 2014. Liberia was the country hardest hit by that epidemic, with almost 5000 deaths, followed by Sierra Leone (~4000), and Guinea (~2500).