PART II [Gimme a bottle of cold Orange Fanta!]
My direction is north east, destination: Weasua. I am hoping that I will make it before mid afternoon to the next population area, in Lower Lofa. I could take a good rest after an hour of consistent jolts and bobbings in the shotgun of my pickup, I am ready to swivel down a cool bottle of Orange Fanta. Luckily, I have brought my battery operated cassette player in the car. The volume is at full blast. The strange sound ofl music is nothing other than Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, echoing the stormy notes into the rainforest! Falling into every pit and crevice of the road and pulling out in second or first gear is a challenging exercise. I remember the last time I had gone up this road.
Thanks to Mr. Varney’s co-piloting skills and his excellent memory of the road’s physical geography! I was able to manuever the road, unconquered! The Fourth movement of Pastoral, ‘Gewitter – Storm’ blasts out as the Toyota struggles into the first gear while climbing a 60 degree hill that has suddenly appeared out of nowhere. This time, the trip has taken twice the time I spent driving to Weasua with Mr. Varney. To conquer this road is a Herculean job. To get out of a ditch is another! With cellos strumming the thunderous notes, I am suddenly seeing a faint image of Weasua appearing in distance atop the summit. The pickup roars and I shift to number two, the crack widens amidst the red clay pasted thick on the ground ahead of me.
I am rolling down the hill as humidity and heat intensify with descent. My pickup has produced a plume of dust behind as I approach the village’s check point now crowded with women fruit sellers, little pekin’ boys and a few under-nurished looking Liberian soldiers. ‘Fanta! Fanta! Fanta!…Col’ Fanta!’ Cries out a stocky looking teenage boy! Breathing heavily, he approaches me at the window of the pickup. He peers into the shotgun and surveys the car. “Fur ya, Fiffy cents!”, he announces politely. His bright smile is a magnificent masterpiece of God’s work! His teeth are an ideal display at any dental school! I give him an American Dollar bill and grab two bottles of ice-cold Orange Fanta from his ice box full of slush perfectly balanced on his head! “Thank you Yah!, my friend”, I tell him. My Fanta boy is mesmerized by George’s picture on the Dollar bill! “Ehemmmm…tha’ one fine American President, oh!”, he wispers, profoundly.
(Third installment in progress…to be posted in late August 2008)