Monday, February 11, 2008


"Smell-no-taste" is a small Liberian town sandwiched between Roberts Field International Airport and Harbel. The name dates back more than a half century.

During WWII (and the years following), the US intensified relations with Liberia. The currency was switched from the British pound sterling to the US dollar, Pan Am and the US government collaborated to open Liberia's first airport (Roberts International), US Lead Lease fund were availed to facilitate the construction of Freeport, and American military began clearing major roads to the interior.

With this new infrastructure, came a wave of domestic migration. Liberians native to inland regions flocked to the coast seeking jobs. Some succeeded, others were less fortunate. The majority were met by the growing international presence with less-than-welcoming sentiments and greater hardship than anticipated. While locals struggled to feed their families, ex-pats and military lived comfortably in compounds and with goods imported from home. Liberians grew accustomed to SMELLING the dishes cooking on the opposite side of the compound... and never getting a TASTE. Thus, the name:


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