Wednesday, August 30, 2006
After several attempts, rogues finally broke into our yard two nights ago. They broke into Shaun's truck and stole the radio, and they cut the screen of our porch and came in for the plastic chairs. Nothing major, but still unnerving considering the fact that we were at home, and that we had two security guards on duty who were supposed to be awake all night keeping watch. The funny thing is I always get up to investigate every little noise, but I heard nothing. The good thing is Shaun has now been spurred into action on taking more safety measures. He got two fire extinguishers - one for our residence and one for his office, which is right next door - and he has hired a 4th security guard so that there'll always be three on duty. Today the welders are here building a tall wire mesh fence around the office and putting up another gate, all with razor wire on top.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
There are about 14 towns in the Nyemonweh Chiefdom of Maryland County, Harper District. According to my guide, Nyema Nevis, Puduken (pop. 550) was built in 1832 and is the least developed town of the Chiefdom because it is the only one separated from Cape Palmas by the ocean. There are no schools there, and those who leave to get an education elsewhere normally do not return. Nyema's own brother left for the USA in 1983 and the family has been trying to trace him ever since. It is a short canoe ride to get to Puduken, where much of the town's livelihood comes from the cassava and eddoes that grow extraordinarily well in the sandy soil. Nyema's father, John Nevis, is the Town Chief of Puduken. Born in 1921, he has lost his eyesight but is still very much in charge and very highly respected. Before the war, he served as Speaker for the Grebo People of Nyemonweh Chiefdom and represented them in audiences with President William V.S. Tubman and President William R. Tolbert. Today, his request on behalf of his Chiefdom, if he could speak to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, is for a bridge to connect Puduken with the mainland so that development will reach his people.