Tuesday, August 7, 2007

That’s where the time goes… or, an ode to potholes

It doesn’t take long after disembarking from the plane at Roberts International to realize that transportation in Liberia is complicated by cavernous roads, sporadic vehicles swerving at high speeds, destructive rains (from May to October), and “resident” dogs, goats, and chickens who defiantly strut across the street. Driving is especially difficult the farther you get from Monrovia, but even moving throughout through the city can be treacherous. There is one crossing called “Red Light” that swells with such congestion (of people, taxis, buses, vendors, animals, etc.) during the early evening that it's been know to take as long as an hour to move the length of a football field.

As such, the roads become a definitive element of life in Liberia. The insfrastrucutre requires a slower pace by car, which permeates the rest of business transactions (with other factors contributing, of course). In general, meetings are late and schedules are suggestive.

Luckily for CHAI, we have excellent drivers and trusty Nissans to maneuver through the streets. I have a new-found respect for the suspension in Japanese automobiles (though I’ve always been a Subaru fan).

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