Sunday, September 27, 2009

The House At Sugar Beach...

Hi... Well, we've had our summer "off" (Deb and the boys were back in the US for 7 weeks... and I joined them for the last 4) and we've been back in Liberia for a month. Work is all right, and the boys are chest-deep in homeschooling. And we've been reading a terrific Liberia book called "The House At Sugar Beach" by Helene Cooper. She is the White House correspondent for the New York Times. She was born in Liberia and grew up here til the age of 14, the daughter of Americo-Liberians. It's a well written book, which pretty honestly shows a lot of the inequities of pre-1980 Liberia. In 1980, Helene's uncle was executed along with other government officials as part of Samuel Doe's coup, and she left the country about a month later. The book is a memoir of Helene's life, climaxing with her return to Liberia in 2003 to seek out her long-lost foster sister, Eunice.

One of the interesting things to me has been just the familiarity of it all--Sugar Beach is just a few miles southeast down the coast from us here at ELWA, and there are a couple brief mentions of ELWA in the book. But I wanted to know exactly where it was. There's no exact spot known as "Sugar Beach" now--at least not well known--so after looking for options of places matching the description on Google Earth last night, I took a walk this morning before church to go looking for it, and here it is: The House at Sugar Beach, as it is today--run down, only half of it occupied, a monument to the history of this nation which is told so well in this book. In case you want to see our area... check out Google Earth... the house at sugar beach is at 6 deg 13'41'' N, 10 deg 40'03" W. My walk this morning (one way) was about 2.4 miles of coastline.... see if you can find us at ELWA on Google Earth... we're waving!

The House at Sugar Beach, as it is today (picture taken from the ocean side...I'm standing at the tide line).