After a night in a hotel up-country, five of the team, plus our Liberian friends Matthew Walters and Jackson Cooper took off about 9:00 a.m. in a Toyota Cruiser for our trip to Cooper Town. It was more than an hour’s drive over paved road, then a dirt road, then boarded bridges that some of our group chose to walk across because of their instability. We finally came to a village and parked the car. We were met by 3 youngsters and 2 men, one being Pastor Daniel Cooper, teacher, preacher and the village chief.
The men carried some of our bags and helped us across log bridges. Some of the bridges had makeshift handrails which we hung on to for dear life. Other bridges had no handrails – these were especially scary to cross. We crossed a total of 5 of these logs in single file. Below, families washed clothes in the river. It was very hot in the midday, so not many animals were out. However, we crossed a driver ant parade (dangerous - they bite). We walked for 35 minutes and paused at a village for rest. Then we walked another 35 minutes, totaling 4 miles to arrive at Cooper Town.
When we arrived at the village, we were escorted into the new church where school children, dressed in red blazers, sang several songs of welcome. Next we went to the guest house which was unlocked for us. The men quickly set about collecting sun rays with the lights that would be used in our house that night.
The well, church-school, palava hut, and guest house had all been built since 2017, the well being built first. They were very proud to have accomplished so much in a short time. The Effort Baptist Church in Monrovia had been involved in completing these projects. People from this church visit Cooper Town regularly. The well provides water for the village of about 100 people and also nearby villages. Because it was Dry Season, they were restricted to drawing water in early morning and late evening in the hope that it would not run dry. During the day, the villagers fetched water from the river.
We gathered at the palava hut at about 2:00 p.m. and the two men and two of our ladies went for a hike to see a waterfall. The children gathered and stared at us with curiosity. After a while, we blew bubbles that the younger children tried to hit with their hands. The older children braided jump ropes from strips of cut up T-shirts.