Scruffy soldiers with guns pointed in all directions were scattered around my yard when I returned from teaching. “What’s up?” I asked in a shaky voice. Liberian soldiers were scary.
“Your dog ate one of the Superintendent’s guinea fowl,” the sergeant growled. The Superintendent was the governor of Bong County and quite fond of his fowl birds. But Boy, the perpetrator of the crime, didn’t belong to me, and he regarded my cat Rasputin as dinner.
“Why don’t you arrest him,” I suggested helpfully. “Not him. You!” the sergeant roared. “You are coming with us.”
In 1965 I left the chaotic world of UC Berkeley and the student revolution of the mid 60s to become a Peace Corps Volunteer in the even stranger world of Liberia, West Africa. The Bush Devil Ate Sam is story of my experience. When I arrived, descendants of freed slaves from America ruled the country with an iron grip while the tribal people were caught in a struggle between modern culture and ancient Africa.
I quickly discovered that being a Peace Corps Volunteer was anything but dull. Army ants invaded our house. Students strolled into class with cans of squirming termites for breakfast, and the young man who worked for me, calmly announced that the scars running down his chest were the teeth marks of the Poro Bush Devil.
On the teaching front, my seniors took top national honors in social studies, but the national government determined a student government I created to teach democracy was a threat to Liberia’s one party state. My students were to be arrested; I was told to pack my bags.
Half of the profits from this book will be donated to Friends of Liberia, a nonprofit organization. The goal of the organization is “to positively affect Liberia by supporting education, social, economic and humanitarian programs.” Details are available at: wandering-through-time-and-space.me.
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