Day Two- A Tour, A Meeting, A Disco…

Day Two started out with us finally meeting out host, Kimmie Weeks.

(Google that name RIGHT NOW. You will be amazed.)

Cliff Notes Version of his life: This young man has done simply extraordinary things here in Liberia. As a teenager, he started advocating for children’s rights, and a 17, published such a whistle-blowing article on how the Liberian government under Charles Taylor was training child soldiers that he had a contract put upon his head by the president and had to flee the country. (And if Charles Taylor, the man on trial currently for his war crimes, is trying to have you killed, you MUST be doing something right..) He went to school in the States and came back to an international charity that advocates for children’s rights that has impacted hundreds of  thousands of people nation wide. He regularly meets with the President of Liberia and advocates for issues with ministers and members of Parliament often as well.

This amazing person is taking time out of his busy schedule to show us around town, and we couldn’t be more honored. He first took us on a driving tour of Monrovia, the capital city where we are staying. It reminded me a bit of Central America, with tin roofed shacks and pot-hole-filled roads, but the people inhabiting these places were stunningly well dressed. Kimmie tells us that being well dressed is a big part of the culture here- if the person only has one nice outfit they will wear it often, yet wash it nightly as to make it look as nice as possible.

He told us a lot about Liberian history- which is fascinating. This is the country that was founded in the mid-1800’s by freed slaves from America- hence the name LIBERIA, as in LIBERTY. Monrovia, the capital, is named after James Monroe, the president at the time of their freedom.

There is so much history here- we visited the first church that was built and is still in use, from the 1800’s, we saw where the pioneers (freed slaves) first landed right off the coast… to see all of these places and hear all of this amazing history was so fascinating. Liberians are very proud of their history and heritage, and it is so apparent when any of them speak to you.

We had our first authentic Liberian food (Dry rice and fried fish, DELICIOUS!) and then we stopped by City Hall on our tour. We actually walked right in because we are in the company of Kimmie and his celebrity- and met the mayor! It was amazing! She was so sweet and inviting- her staff gave us a tour of the newly renovated City Hall, even into the bathrooms, which was something they were very proud of- having running water and soap dispensers was a new addition to the building since before the war!

We were in awe of having met the mayor our first official day here- having Kimmie as our host has already proven invaluable to us! We went back for a quick dinner at Kimmie’s brother’s restaurant (Delicious food!) , then Kimmie took us out to a Liberian club- which, to be honest, felt just like a normal night club at home! Everyone here dresses like Americans, so when you’re inside a nice nightclub, like we were, you could forget you were in Africa all together!

A famous Nigerian actress came into the club so she and Johnny were announced as special guests of the night and people clamored to take pictures with them, which was fun. We stayed out far too late, but had a blast anyway!!

Advertisements

One Response to “Day Two- A Tour, A Meeting, A Disco…”

  1. Conner Says:

    Kimmie Weeks, inspirational people like this are few and far between, so cool that you got to meet him, I guess birds of a feather….. I wish I was there, what an amazing experience! Clubbin’ till’ the sun comes up sounds like O-town of the 90’s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: