Kevin in Liberia

Its Purpose: to raise awareness of current social, political, ethical, and spiritual issues within a relief and development context in Liberia. Its effectiveness is simple: It relies on me, the author, to provide insightful, and often debate-sparking material that will encourage you, the reader to get engaged through comment contributions, emails, and promoting others to read, re-think, and respond to the important issues discussed.

I know not which is most profitable to me, health or sickness, wealth or poverty, nor anything else in the world. That discernment is beyond the power of men or angels, and is hidden among the secrets of your Providence, which I adore, but do not seek to fathom. ~ a prayer by Blaise Pascal

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Surfing in Robertsport, Liberia: Sweet Liberia with Dan Malloy

This past summer a group of surfers came out to Liberia and surfed Robertsport for a few days. I just found this narrated slideshow of their trip. It has great pictures of a picture-perfect day surfing Robertsport. Robertsport doesn't always work like this but they caught it at just the right time. I've seen bigger waves at Robertsport but you can get an idea of the form of these guys. As Dan mentions in the commentary, we are truely spoiled here. I don't agree with him that these Liberians have never seen surfing before because there have been people surfing/bodyboarding here for at least three years that I know of and possibly even longer. I've put a link in the side bar on the right hand side as well. Check out Sweet Liberia with Dan Malloy

I think this slideshow really shows the potential that Robertsport specifically has for tourism in Liberia. The natural beauty and perfect waves that Robertsport has to offer is unbelievable. Its only a matter of time people, only a matter of time!

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  • At 3:20 PM, Blogger Michael said…

    Just discovered your blog, and I'm enjoying working my way through the archives. I lived at ELWA from 1989-1990, and was back for a few weeks in early 2005. Golly, how I miss that place.

    Anyhow, you're right - it's utter nonsense about the locals "never having seen surfing before." I was there in 1990 and there were at least a half-dozen locals killing it at that point.

    At any rate, you're in a very special place - enjoy it for me.

  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger Kevin Aja Fryatt said…

    Where were the locals who surfed, in Monrovia or at Robertsport?

    Who were you working with in '89? Did you surf while you were here? If so, where?

  • At 4:55 PM, Blogger Michael said…

    There was actually a fairly sizable surf-scene in pre-war Monrovia - a bunch of MKs, embassy kids from the American Cooperative School, a decent number of Lebanese dudes, and a handful of Liberians. On really busy Saturdays you'd actually have to jockey for position fairly intensely to get a wave. I encountered maybe a half-dozen locals on my only trip to Robertsport (New Years, 1990!).

    I was in high school back then, at the short-lived WACHS (West Africa Christian High School). At that point in time, just about everyone who lived at ELWA also worked at ELWA. As I'm sure you can imagine, the campus was a pretty different place.

    I surfed (well, boogie-boarded mainly - I was just learning how to stand up when we got evacuated) as often as I could, usually 2-3 afternoons per week on weekdays, and an epic "dawn patrol" session on most Saturdays. My main spot was about a mile south of ELWA (away from King Gray). There used to be a little beach club there, with rough benches on the bluff, where we would sit and wax up while checking out the sets. I want to say it was called the Kenema Club, but my memory may be failing me... It was a pretty decent break - consistent 2-3 footers, getting up into the 4-7 foot range when it was big. There was a channel about 150 yards across that was rock-free and where you could hang out all day.

    When I was there in January/February of '05, I found a new, more "formal" club (with tables, umbrellas, etc.) a couple hundred yards back towards ELWA. There were a bunch of Swiss UN types there on swimming pool-style inflatable rafts riding up and down on the 5-foot swells. And me with no board at all... Sigh...

    Anyhow, it's fun to have this blog to make me think of that place even more than I already do (I have a few friends still at/around ELWA who I stay in touch with), so keep posting - I'm in midtown Manhattan right now, which couldn't feel further away. I feel like we might know some of the same people, so drop me a line if you feel like it so we can converse "offline" - I'll be back there eventually, and if you're still there, it'd be nice to meet up. theobrien (at) gmail.


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