Decoration Day, Arthington, Liberia

DecDay_DKorte-0332

Decoration Day repainting.

March 8, 2016  The second Wednesday of March is a National Holiday, Decoration Day, to spend with those who have left this world. Lisa and I made a plan to celebrate this day in Arthington, a small town in Montserrado County some 34 bumpy kilometers from Monrovia. We leave the paved road after 12 kilometers to tackle a dusty, potholed track upcountry, following generally the north bank of the St. Paul River. Doubtful this road will be dependable during the rainy season as it appears the low-lying countryside will flood as it drains to the river.

DecDay_DKorte-0340

Abandoned house in Arthington.

Our friends have left earlier by bush taxi, and we meet them at the gravesite of relatives deceased, where vegetation has been cleared away and a fresh coat of blue paint brightens the occasion.

Aunts, uncles and friends have come together to celebrate this day. A walk down Main Street takes us past abandoned concrete shells of former homes, mud-brick homes with tin roofings, a clinic, schoolyard, guesthouse, and on to a Baptist Church roofless under a beautiful sky, the bell over the entry silent since its demise during the civil war. Arthington is the hometown of former President Charles Taylor, presently serving time in a UK prison for war crimes. His compound, stark concrete walls now overgrown by the bush, hardly recognizable as we pass by.

DecDay_DKorte-0360

Baptist church constructed during Charles Taylor’s reign reduced to a concrete shell.

We visit a new development in the town, a pig farm, where uncle Bobby tends to the pigs and proudly shows off his garden of peppers, bitterballs, pineapples and eggplants out back.

DecDay_DKorte-0390

The afternoon is sweltering beneath the sun, and we stop for refreshments at Auntie Sweeties before beginning our adventure back to Monrovia.

DecDay_DKorte-0384

Uncle Bobby at the pig farm.

 

 

DecDay_DKorte-0383

Black pig.

DecDay_DKorte-0355

Houmou at the Baptist church.

DecDay_DKorte-0401

Liberian family, Arthington.

Chairful of fun at Auntie Sweeties.

Chairful of fun at Auntie Sweeties.

This entry was posted in Liberia and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *