Sunday, September 21, 2014

Travel to PST

On June 15, 50 new trainees came to Liberia and they have been busy with their PST since then.  I was invited to come to PST the week of July 27 and help with the model school for the trainees.  In order to get to Kakata, I was going to have to drive for two days to reach the training.  Fortunately, Peace Corps was able to get me a UN flight to Monrovia and scheduled a pick-up for me there.  Unfortunately, the document I was to print was a PDF file and there is no place to print a PDF in Pleebo.  So…off I headed to Kakata via road!

I got to parking at 7 am on Wednesday morning.  After sitting there for five hours, I finally left for Zwedru (my stopping point for the night) around 12:30.  We were three hours in to our six hour trip, when the car stopped working correctly.  The carburetor was dirty/broken and did not allow us to drive correctly.  We stopped in every small town along the way, looking for a mechanic who would have the know-how or the parts to fix it.  Finally, we arrived in Zwedru at 9:30 pm that night, and Brian (the Volunteer living there) was able to lead me to a place to eat before I crashed for the night.

The next morning, I was at parking at 6 am, waiting for a car headed to Kakata.  It wasn’t until 11 am that our car was full and ready to go!  We got in the car, made it to Toe Town (about an hour and a half outside of Zwedru), and there the shock broke on one of the front tires.  Unfortunately, there was no parts store in Toe Town, so we were required to call back to Zwedru, find a mechanic who trusted and knew the driver, and wait for him to bring the part.  We sat in Toe Town for four hours until we got fixed and moving again, and it wasn’t until 2 am that I reached Gbarnga (where I chose to stop for the night). 

Thankfully, my PC friend Nick was still awake and welcomed me into his place so I could crash for the night.  The next morning, I got in a car and left for Kakata right away.  After just a three hour drive, as expected, we made it to Kakata and I was able to get started at PST.  It was, by far, the worst drive I’ve ever made “back to civilization.”  I am grateful, however, that the road wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  The few weeks before had been relatively dry – had it not been for that, I would have been stuck on that road for who knows how long.

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