Thursday, July 16, 2009
Since today was uncharacteristically bright and clear and since my malaria has ebbed enough for me to climb unnecessary stairs, I jogged up to our roof and cataloged the view. This enclave of Monrovia is evidently more tree-filled than most, though it would be easy for a pedestrian on the wrong side of the twelve foot walls to miss this fact. High ground, greenery and sea views predictably attract money and Mamba Point is no exception. Most of the UN buildings are in this area, along with several other sturdy NGOs. Much of the remaining real estate is given over to costly apartment buildings that hold a solid percentage of the 15,000 foreigners working in Liberia's NGO community.
Pleasantly, however, there are still a few lots held down by local communities who have been reluctant to cash out on their land investment. Just next to our building is this collection of makeshift, low-lying homes--all of which are emphasizing the exceptional nature of today's sunshine by airing most of the laundry they possess. The amount of noise generated by this tiny square of humanity is often staggering.
Facing south east gives a view of the most cluttered and trafficked part of town--all of the commerce along Broad and Randall. The taller buildings in the far background are not in service.
Neither is the commanding Hotel Ducor, which occupies the best real estate in town, crumbling at the high point of Monrovia, surrounded by the thickest and tallest trees of the capital. I'm still enjoying the convenience of being so close to everything (grocery stores); but it's a shame that the only ocean I see is from hundreds of yards away--impossible, now, to look out the window and know exactly what the waves are doing. It'll be a few more days before I've gotten my energy reserves back in shape to surf anyways.