Monday, April 30, 2012

Volcanic Rock Climbing With The Vai

Volcanic Rocks - Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia

All along the shores of Grand Cape Mount in Liberia there are the remnants of volcanic activity in the form of deep black rocks jutting up out of the light brown sand.  Our company was led by the chief of Sembehum who had warmly welcomed us to his village and told us that his home is our home.  He took us to the spot where the AEFNA plans to build a university for the training and education of Liberians and all West Africans.  The view was spectacular as you can see.
View of the area set aside for future University in Liberia

My Vai rock climbing companion
Overwhelmed with the natural beauty and exhilarated by the fresh ocean breeze I felt 20 years younger than I actually am.  I began to walk down the gigantic volcanic rock formation onto the land donated to the AEFNA by the Vai people of this area.  The chief motioned to a man who came beside me and leaped from rock to rock revealing a clear path down to the beach below.  He kept a close eye on me to make sure I didn’t slip and fall. 
The view from the beach at the bottom of the rocks

After exploring the beach below we headed back up the rock giant to return to the chief and our company.  As we headed up I began to feel even more rejuvenated and daring and blazed my own route up the formation making leaps from rock to rock that seemed to surprise my Vai companion.  He also began to speed up his ascent and it became an unspoken race up to the top.  I think he let me win.

Our Gang above the Volcanic Rocks viewing the future site of the University

Once atop the volcanic rocks and reunited with our group we headed back to a grove of coconut trees where the chief had stationed a young man.  He had climbed up the tree (an amazing sight to see!) and had shaken and cut down approximately 15 coconuts for our company.  

Standing at the foot of the Volcanic rock formation watching waves crash

On our return I talked to another younger Vai man named Alex.  He told me about his dream to one day major in journalism and be a radio announcer.  He is about to finish high school and his elders have told him not to go away for schooling but rather to wait for the University that AEFNA has promised to build.  The people are eager for the training of their people and they represent the pure teacher’s dream: willing and eager students with a deep desire to better themselves and their community. 

I have only scratched the surface of this amazing visit to Grand Cape Mount County in Liberia.  Hope to share more soon!

Walking on Sembehum Beach towards the University site

Volcanic Rocks - Grand Cape County, Liberia

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