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Author Topic: more help needed in Liberia  (Read 4073 times)

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Offline Mikey H

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more help needed in Liberia
« on: January 08, 2018, 03:51:33 PM »
Hi Folks,

Me again!  LIBERIA.  Small country in West Africa about the size of Tennessee.  It's about 3/4ths tropical rainforest and they have a lot of logs.  Wood-Mizer has sold dozens of sawmills there.   

Over the last 30 years, Wood-Mizer has donated or discounted about 15 sawmills into Liberia to be used by Christian missionaries, orphanages or schools.   Portable sawmills tend to disappear into the woods after several years since Liberia sometimes struggles with corruption and civil wars.  Four of them have recently made it back into the hands of missionary folks we work with over there.  If sawmills could sing, "I once was lost but now I'm found" would be the right tune. These sawmills are in rough shape (yours would be too if it got tied to a tree in a tropical rainforest) and that's where you come in. 

Revive Liberia is seeking more sawyer/mechanics to hop on an airplane and fly to Monrovia during 2018.  Direct roundtrip flights out of Washington DC are about $1,400.    Believe me, if you know how to change a blade and change an oil filter, you are an ace mechanic in Liberia (no offense intended).   RL would like to see a team of two or more going over there two to four times a year for a while.  The country is stable and safe and their economy is getting stronger.  Their guys have terrific attitudes and great work ethics but they need to be taught how to take care of a machine.  No tricky repairs are needed; just good old fashioned maintenance.  They have tools. 

INTERESTED?   Lemme know.  This is a missions trip where you can do your hobby or what you do for a living and change people's lives.  THANKS FOR CONSIDERING.

Mike Hanlon  mhanlon@woodmizer.com
Mike Hanlon
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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 04:34:52 PM »
I can't go but sounds rewarding.
Great job Mike what Woodmizer is doing.  smiley_thumbsup
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Offline Don P

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 06:46:29 PM »
Sounds like fun.
Off the top of my head some questions, might as well put it here for anyone interested, others add to the questions whatever I'm not thinking of.

How long per stint?
Some time at the plant for training on these models?
Parts and supplies support?
English speaking?
Vaccines, diseases?
Food and shelter?
Internet to pick everyone's brains?
Gotta figure out some way to transport us... cast thy net wider for that. Who flies there?

Offline Mikey H

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 07:28:26 PM »
Hi Don, great questions. Usually guys go for about 10 days, maybe 2 weeks. One week is a little too short when you figure 2 days are traveling.

We could figure out some training if it's decided it's needed. What state do you live in?
We are supplying all the parts and blades we know to supply. We figure you'll discover other needs when you're there and we'll send them ahead of the next team.

Liberians speak English very well but their accent will require several days to figure out.
Yes you'll need a couple hundred dollars worth of shots and malaria pills. You'll stay in a decent house on the beach, not kidding. Food will be provided and monitored for your sake. Internet service is spotty, not too reliable. Phone service is better. American Airlines flies there directly out of Washington DC.
Mike Hanlon
I work for Wood-Mizer in the Sales Department.  I am the Account Manager for 8 of our 15 US locations and I oversee the Christian Missions equipment discounts and donations.
mhanlon@woodmizer.com

Offline starmac

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 07:34:33 PM »
This is probably a pay your own way type of mission trip isn't it.

My daughter went on a mission trip for 30 days to Africa. Iirc it was 3,000 bucks to go, but she raised the money mostly from donations from locals.
She did this right out of high school, and in my opinion it was one of the best experiences she could have possibly done. I tend to think she got more education wise than the folks they were helping.
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 08:22:25 PM »
I went to Liberia last April with one person from Woodmizer, the missionary couple, another sawyer, and a car mechanic, all of them except me from Indiana.  But I USED to be from Indiana, so I knew I would fit right in!   I felt that I did, and we all had a fantastic time.    WE HAD A BLAST!!!! 8) 8) 8) smiley_bouncing_pinky smiley_bouncing_pinky smiley_bouncing_pinky

Two new exciting experiences for me in this photo:  1) I am sawing with a Wood-Mizer in Africa!!   2) I am sawing with a walk along mill!!! :D :D



  

14 days there, one day each side getting there and back.  I met the others in Detroit.  From there we flew Delta to Amsterdam, then KLM to Monrovia.   We were met by key people in Alive Liberia mission group who live in the Monrovia/Buchanan area.

Yes one pays his own travel expenses, immunizations, visa etc.  Over there, housing was provided, yes on the beach, and we gave a contribution for some of the food and other expense, which was relatively minor.  Africans drove us around. 

Most of my days were at the sawmill site.  But we took some time off.  They don't work on Sundays.  I was in an African church last Easter Sunday.  Wow!

I helped a little with Wood-Mizer maintenance but spent most of my time getting their BMS-250 and BMT-200 back in working order, and showing four or five of the Alive Liberia men how to sharpen blades.  We were sharpening 7 turbos.  When I arrived, neither sharpener nor setter was running, and the blades were mostly being ruined by attempted sharpening on a malfunctioning sharpener. When I left, we had hooks on the wall for dull blades (this was empty) and for perfectly sharpened blades,  shown below.  All I did was similar to what I do in Connecticut. Only in Africa, and there is a difference!!!

 It seemed a curious coincidence that I had upgraded to the same sharpener and setter a year previously.   Or was it?  Maybe you recognize this question.  :P :P  Anyone else I welcome you to ask what I mean. 



 

 If you would like to discuss this with more privacy than this thread,  you can PM or email me.  The pm and email contacts are to the left here in my profile.  I'd also welcome your phone call,  send me a message and let me know.

Not that it is what we did, but if you are used to camping, you'll have no problems with living over there for a couple of weeks.  If you've been abroad to a poorer country before, you already know much of what this is about, and you'll be re-living that feeling again.

I'll be going back again. I have friends over there now.  They're in my I-phone and I get calls and emails from them.  We talk about Woodmizer and Peterson sawing and maintenance.  But-before business- family and other things first!!   I've learned that's the African way!!! 8) 8) 8)


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Offline hunz

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 10:38:38 PM »
I'm going to do this as soon as my youngest turns 10, maybe even drag my oldest with me. Hopefully, but not hopefully, there is still a need for teachers in this area in 10 years; my youngest is still in the oven. I suppose the whole purpose is to make Liberians self sufficient. Life is too short, the world too big, and needs so great, to not have part of it written in the storybook of your life. Period. I've been to impoverished countries before, and like has been mentioned.....you go there to help, and end up feeling like you're the one who was helped most. It's a renewing of your mind expeeience for sure.

Thanks for sharing!
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 11:10:42 PM »
I would love nothing more then the opportunity to go and serve but have no experience with a sawmill. I would be very willing to learn all aspects of running and maintaining a mill as well as the best way to turn a log into usable lumber. But due to poor health in my family and me bringing home all the bacon so my wife can school our special needs son with a real education unlike what they offer from the local school districts. If things change on my end please keep me in your thought process.
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Offline Darrel

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 10:34:33 AM »
My wife has gone on several mission trips and taken kids from youth group with her. I've always stayed home and worked.  Our chihuahuas had puppies and we sold them to help sponsor kids to go on mission trips. 

Count me in, probably my wife too. We'll start making plans. Alejandro and Elana are old now and can't have anymore puppies but we'll go. Will let you know when we can get the logistics worked out.
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Offline Don P

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 08:15:34 AM »
Are the mills in one location or scattered? Can you give co-ordinates we can zoom down on, it is a beautifully forested looking country on google earth. 75 low this morning 85 high and humid in Monrovia. Looks like a good place for a solar kiln.

Offline Crossroads

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 08:44:05 AM »
Im curious to hear some of the answers to the list of questions above, but Im very interested. Would it be possible to get a packet to present to my church missions coordinator? I have vacation time that hasnt been scheduled and a desire to serve the Lord. Ive been and EMT for 17 years, a millwright for 16 years and am on my second wood Mizer.  1985 lt30 and a 2017 LT40. I have some experience with a mobile dimension as well. Thank you
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 08:53:47 AM »
Are the mills in one location or scattered? Can you give co-ordinates we can zoom down on, it is a beautifully forested looking country on google earth. 75 low this morning 85 high and humid in Monrovia. Looks like a good place for a solar kiln.
Google maps look up Buchanan, Liberia.   Mills are together.

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Offline wascator

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 09:40:10 AM »
I think a lot of money is spent every year on "missionary tourism" that would be better spent if we just sent the money. This seems like the Real Deal though: actual training and teaching which will help people long-term. Interesting opportunity, especially if it has a Christian context and content.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 10:36:21 AM »
I think a lot of money is spent every year on "missionary tourism" that would be better spent if we just sent the money.

   I worked a long time in this part of the world and other equally remote and impoverished regions. I can assure you without a proper caretaker on the ground to see to proper distribution of the funds, they are stolen or wasted. There is always a con artist around trying to separate the honest hardworking people who need it from the money. If you visit any open air market in Africa or South America you will likely find used clothes for sale and on the outside of the bundle you will see something like "First Baptist Church of Symrna Mississippi" or such. The locals are getting some benefits but middle men are lining their pockets. The donators thought their gift went directly to the end user and that rarely happens unless they have a good contact there on the ground.

    My roommate in Cameroon sponsored a young lady who was working a very good local job as a guard for about $90/month. She worked 6 days a week 12 hours a day guarding our homes. He asked her what she wanted to do and she said she wanted to be a hair dresser but could not afford a hair dryer. Jack bought her a $25 hair dryer and she quit her job and set up a chair on a street corner making around $125 per week and doing what she wanted to do in life. She just never could get that $25 ahead to buy a hair dryer to make her career change. Only someone on the ground talking with her could have found this opportunity. Further giving her $25 directly would have probably resulted in her getting robbed or conned out of it.

   I had another guard, Roland, also making $90/month same conditions. He asked me to get him a job as a gardener and luck of the draw I rented a new apartment complex and needed a gardener and got him hired for $236/month working 40 hours a week. He was the hardest worker you ever saw and did great. He was then able to moonlight more than doubling his income working some of our private residences in his off times. Roland was a lay minister and my wife, on one of her visits, was amazed to find he used and carried a Gideon Bible.

   You have never truly seen poverty until you visit this region but you will be hard pressed to find nicer, friendlier people than some of them. I had an old CG in USMC days who said "They need a hand up, not a handout" and that seems applicable.

   Yes, I think this is the real deal too.
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Offline Mikey H

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 11:26:14 AM »
Hi, thanks for all the replies.  Yes, we'll keep everybody in mind that wants to go later. It will be decades before trips of this kind aren't needed, if ever. 

If you zoom in on the harbor at Buchanan Liberia on Google Earth, you'll see a ship being loaded with veneer quality logs. The good news about allowing exports only of veneer quality logs is that the NOT QUITE VENEER logs get left behind for local folks to profit from.  Believe me, they aren't making much on the logs leaving the country. 

Here are some of the mills you could interact with in Liberia.  Yes, owner's manuals are available for all.   Anybody with savvy about the Kohler G25 engine would be worth your weight in gold over there.

1988 LT30G25 - newer Kohler G25 engine - on site and will be used after you go fix it -CROSSROADS, this has YOU written all over it
1990 LT40HDG25 - newer Kohler G25 engine - on site and working
2016 LT40D35N - Yanmar 35HP Tier 2 diesel   - with hyd loading arms and turner - on site and the main workhorse
2010 LT40D35 - still tied up in legal stuff, might be there by the time you are, low hours, sad story
2007 LT70HDD62 - a little tied up, rough shape, might be there by the time you are
1999 LT40HDD40 - wow, this sawmill is REALLY tired.  A new G25 engine has been sent along with a LOT of parts to rebuild it into a manual LT40 - they hydraulics are trashed beyond recognition.   A good mechanic could spend DAYS on this one.  Jim Brown is headed over there in the next couple of weeks.  He's the Director of our Customer Service department. He doesn't frighten easily but this one even has him a little spooked.   This mill would be a terrific poster child for WHY IS MAINTENANCE SO IMPORTANT. 

I might be forgetting a mill or two.  Alive Liberia oversees what is done with the profits from these mills.  One example (there are dozens) is support to a Christian grade school that the Muslims asked the Christians to build and run. You read that right. Dude. 

Im curious to hear some of the answers to the list of questions above, but Im very interested. Would it be possible to get a packet to present to my church missions coordinator? I have vacation time that hasnt been scheduled and a desire to serve the Lord. Ive been and EMT for 17 years, a millwright for 16 years and am on my second wood Mizer.  1985 lt30 and a 2017 LT40. I have some experience with a mobile dimension as well. Thank you
   CROSSROADS, contact me directly or have your church missions coordinator contact me and I'll send all the info I can.  Also, Alive Liberia has a flyer they can send. 

WV Sawmiller, you're so right about the need for a good contact, there, on the ground . . . especially in Liberia!!!! Imagine the Wild Wild West with no Marshall Dillon.  As Americans, we have no idea how blessed we are to live in a country where the rule of law and basic honesty are mostly reliable.   Liberians might refer to themselves as Christians, but that doesn't necessarily mean they won't steal the money and run.  Alive Liberia is highly blessed with a few longtime, honest, reliable, faithful Liberians to work with.  Frog is the name of one of them, so named because he made the mistake of joining the local church choir temporarily.  The American that oversees Alive Liberia has lost track of how many times he's been ripped off. But right now a good handle is on things and the work that's done and the gifts that are given will be managed as best as possible.  No guarantees, but worth the effort nonetheless. 

If I've missed any questions  ??? , I apologize.  Holler back and I'll answer. 

Mike


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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2018, 11:53:13 AM »
I think a lot of money is spent every year on "missionary tourism" that would be better spent if we just sent the money. This seems like the Real Deal though: actual training and teaching which will help people long-term. Interesting opportunity, especially if it has a Christian context and content.
You may be right for some of such work.   I used to think the same thing until 7 years ago I became involved yearly with another church-building mission group where all the work is performed by volunteers.  In that case the only paid person on a site where 200 people might be working is the local crane operator.  Like here, money could be given, but it wouldn't work to use that money to hire people to do what the volunteers do.

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Offline Don P

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2018, 11:50:47 PM »
Thanks for all the info, I saw the logs on the pier and what looks like a mineral loading dock south of that. Where in relation is the sawing yard and cottage?

Doing a little googling, Buchanan is a city of about 35,000. It looks like June-Sept is the rainy season, not the time to go I assume.

There are some pics in their gallery here;
https://reviveliberia.org/gallery/
Bounce around that site a little for who they are and what they do. Looks like take full bags, old hand tools, glasses, etc and come home empty  ;)

and their business listing;
http://liberia.buildingmarkets.org/supplier/22878
So is the woodworking shop up towards Monrovia? I also saw that they have solar kilns in one blog and a charcoal retort.

I asked Mike about fishing, well a guys gotta eat;
http://extremefishingliberia.com/
it looked like a good sized local fishing fleet on google earth

If it does come together for us, and it is still a big if, much conversation up and down, I'd rather not be the first in and we'd like to stay awhile, we are more wrenches and could probably share quarters as experienced sawyers come through to train, are any of you all thinking of taking point? I'm speaking way out of turn but just bouncing stuff around.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2018, 12:14:13 AM »
I spoke with Mike, terrifictimber and Phil today and am pretty excited about the possibility of going in May. I havent had a chance to do much reading on this area or about revive Liberia Missions, but after chatting with Phil, I feel like I could fit right in. Now to get a jump on raising the funds and renewing my passport.......thank you for the phone calls today guys, it was a pleasure talking to you!
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2018, 01:53:44 PM »
Don,

   Don't let that Rainy season scare you off. If the logs are already on the yard and available it may be the best time of the year to be there. I worked 3.5 years in Douala Cameroon a little south of there and our rainy season was the most pleasant time of the year. As I remember we'd have violent thunderstorms between 2-4 am and it would stop. There would be fresh green leaves off the big mango trees along the road to work with lots of small broken limbs but the air would be cool and clean. Dad, down in N. Fla used to write and complain about how hot it was there and speculate how much worse it was where I was near the equator. I hated to tell him while he was suffering through sweltering 100 degree weather I was "suffering" through nice clean 75-80 degree weather on the other side of the world.

   I was never a big, salt water, big game fisherman. Closest I did was spear fishing in the Red Sea but that was up close and personal. I do regret I did not hire a pirogue, a couple of paddlers, 3-4 bailers (They all leaked live sieves) and gone up some of those really pretty Blackwater rivers over there with some light or ultra-light  tackle with spinners like I use here on Bluegills and Crappie and such. Most of those area have sandhauling operations where locals take big dugout or plank boats out in the mangroves as the tide permitted, and dug up sand and gravel for local construction projects and open air cement block making. I did hire one of these boats in Guinea and went up the Kissi-Kissi River to visit the villages and an illegal diamond mining operation. Amazingly the miners opened me with welcome arms and let me photograph them at work. I've posted that before and will come back and add the link if I can find it.

    Here it is http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,96311.0.html
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline warren46

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 09:14:44 PM »
I found some pictures I took in Liberia in 2010 that you may find interesting.

 

 

This lumber was sawn using a chainsaw mill right in the woods.  I think it is from rubber trees in a Firestone plantation.  This is up country about an eight hour drive from Monrovia.

 

  

 

These timbers were stacked near a trail where I was staying up country.  I suspect this wood was destined to be shipped to the US for high end hardwood.

 

 

A woodworking shop in the bush.

 

 

The beach at Monrovia.

It is really a beautiful country with great potential
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Offline Don P

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2018, 10:02:22 PM »
Beautiful country, please keep up y'alls stories and pics and info. That's the real stuff. I read last night about all their country's troubles. Sorry I had to cancel today Howard, I'm still typhoid mary, we'll hook up soon. I just got off the phone with Dad, he called to offer help. I've asked my bud's to collect old hand tools that can travel but am also trying to make a list of engine tools, not sure of the greatest need yet but there's time for that. I'm solo. I'll try to get everything ready to go and hook up with one of you guys who needs a partner at your schedule, very flexible at my end as soon as passport stuff is done.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2018, 09:14:26 AM »
Don P,

   Check with the CDC on vaccinations and such. I assure you current Yellow Fever will be required at a minimum. I am pretty sure Liberia is Malaria central. Several pills for it. Malerone may be best but most expensive. Some you take daily, some weekly. I like the daily as I could get into a daily routine and less likely to forget than weekly. You start before and take a period after leaving the area.

   Cash you take should be new bills - older than a few year may be refused. $100's is best as often they give a better exchange rate than for smaller bills. A good ATM card is a good idea as you can draw local funds at the current exchange rate. Don't be surprised if you can only draw $10-$20 on an ATM and they don't "risk" more than that. In Feb 2008 we went to Cameroon and ran short on cash due to changes that occurred while we were in transit. We had to go to biggest bank in Douala and see the Chief (Bank President) and could still only draw $200 per card. Fortunately that let me and wife draw. Had 2 cards with us so able to draw $800. I could easily take one card to any bank in USA and draw $20K-$25K. Travelers checks are not well trusted or used and if used they are discounted 10% or more. VISA is most common and best choice - Mastercard, Amercan Express and such may be hard to use.

   Take care in giving donations or paying local help publicly as you may set them up to be robbed by local ruffians. I used to slip my little porter at the Central Market (also my pickpocket watch) a 1,000 or 500 cfa note in private which h immediately hid then at end of the trip I'd pay him 25-50 cfa so if he got shaken down that was all they knew he had.

   I always asked before taking pictures. Often they are reluctant but one will agree. Take his picture then show him on the viewer and all want their picture made. On later trips my wife took a portable battery powered printer and we gave them 4X6 pictures and we were their best friends and got access to places and sights nobody else did.

   We took wooden pencils and small mechanical sharpeners and gave them to the kids. Many wanted pens even though they did not go to school. Little spiral notebooks were good. Small compact/make up mirrors were very popular with the girls. Plastic whistles are loved by the kids - maybe less so by the parents after a few days. Happy meal toys are a big hit. Yo-Yos do well. Balloons are a poor choice as too fragile. Colored sidewalk chalk would be well received.

   Dry back long sleeve shirts help protect from sun and bugs. Pre-Treat for bugs if possible. Light weight, fast drying pants are a good idea. Your hotel will have laundry service or contract with the maids or such for such and they may take them home and wash. Don' t take fancy clothes you worry about as they will likely be washed in a bucket or stream with a stiff brush and will suffer accordingly.

    Good boots and work gloves are a good idea due to the nature of the work and skeeters love to bite at ankle height. Don't be surprised if your boots are the only ones seen on the site - sandals, cheap sneakers and barefoot are common. Same with gloves.

   Wrapped, Hard candy for the kids - locally called Bon-Bons - are popular. I took some little boxes of raisins on a trek to some remote tribes. Stopped on the march for a break and I ate some. My guide asked about them and I told him about them and gave him some. He tried them then spit them out and went back to eating his termites.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2018, 09:48:22 AM »
Liberian visa required for US citizens.  Must submit yellow card along with passport, yellow fever is the only required vaccination.

I took an antimalarial one per day starting on day of travel and 7 days after getting home.  I didn't see a single mosquito but we were not in rainy season last April.

Took 3 credit cards along, but never used them once in Liberia. No place or need to use one where we went.  Maybe one could find a place that took credit cards or an ATM in Monrovia, or near the airport there.

Took cash including quite a few $10, $5, and $1 bills. No need to change money in advance in Liberia.  They take US$ everywhere even at street vendors or gas stations.  The only issue is that you get back Liberian $ for change.  So buy a Coke for 75 cents and give a $5, and you get back $425 Liberian notes.  That's right $100 Liberian is $1 US. 

One day I needed a 3/8" -24 nut, and couldnt find one in the stockroom at the logging yard.  So we stopped at a hardware store  (shipping container with ends open) on the way home,  and I walked up with 3/8-24 bolt in my hand. asking for a nut.  The guy reached in and picked out one from a giant pile and handed it to me.  It fit.   How much?  "Thirty dollars".   I recovered quickly, and handed him a $100 Liberian note. $100 for a nut, including a $70 tip.  I was so happy!!! 8) 8) 8)

Here's the hardware stockroom at the logging yard! Maybe I didn't look hard enough. :D :D :D
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker, hydraulics everywhere), Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2018, 10:10:14 AM »
I'd feel right at home with a stockroom like that. I inherited my FIL's stockroom. It has saved me countless 1 hr. drives to town.
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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2018, 10:35:56 AM »
My great aunt - Marie Jensen helped found the Phebe hospital in the 1920's. She spent more than 40 years as a medical missionary in Liberia. On her every 5 year visits to the United States I recall many of her powerful stories. She retired to the USA but missed Africa so much that she returned there in her late 80s and lived out the remainder of her life with her adopted children.

Thank you all who are helping support these people.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2018, 10:41:45 AM »
   If it is in town it is likely available 24/7. If you need a bolt somebody, for a price (maybe a beer which is cheaper than a Coke) will go wake up the owner who will come open the shop to make the sale of a fitting or clamp or such. We went to The Central African Republic and after spending too long at the shakedown/pay-offs at the border when we got to the ferry an hour away the Captain had shut down early. Fortunately he lived on our side of the river. Guide bought a local a beer, he went and got the captain who negotiated a price and he went down and fired up the ferry and took us across the river. During the rainy season they set up "Rain gates" along the route to stop big log truck and such who can't negotiate the wet, slick, clay roads. Small passenger cars are free to go. Usually these are long pieces of bamboo cross arms or pieces or rope tied together as a "cable". Somebody is appointed to monitor these crossings and let small vehicles pass. Supposed to be free but they all become toll gates, especially when they see a white face in the back. (Sorry if you think that is politically incorrect - just stating fact after years in the area.)

   All prices are negotiable from street vendors. In Guinea there were fewer whites than in Cameroon so less attuned to price adjusting. I found the trick was find some kid minding the shop and buy from them. They did not know to triple the price for a white guy as she'd never dealt with one before. I went to buy fresh okra and found a little girls with many small piles in front of her. I gave her 500 cfa (less than a dollar) and communicated I wanted it all in okra. She was very excited and told her friends and neighbors. I turned around and bought a wooden spoon off a passing wood dealer then looked back and the little girl gave me a bag with about 2 gallons of okra. She charged me local price instead of tourist rate.

   In Guinea I bought a coffee cup sized brazier and understood it was Dix Mille Francs so gave her 10,000 francs. I took my purchase and walked away. About 2 blocks later the lady caught up with me and tried to give me 9,000 francs change. She could not change the bill and had to go to others. When i realized I told her keep it. 1000 francs was only 14 cents and 10K was only $1.40 but I was heartened at her honesty. Please don't think most vendors are that honest but glad to find one.

   I saw and photographed a small homemade truck made from a sardine can and pop bottle wheels and asked to buy it. Little boy said Une Mille Franc (14 cents) and wrote it on my hand as we had no paper. I thought then told and gave him Dix Mille Francs ($1.40) and we both left happy.

   We visited a Leper commune outside Douala Cameroon run by a tiny French nun. Bought a few small baskets they made and sold. Becky asked and took pictures and showed them on viewer and they were so happy their blind friend insisted we take his picture. we did then showed his friends and they all laughed and had a great time. That was before we learned to take a printer and I always wish we had one. Hard to imagine such happy people in such miserable conditions.

Wesdor,

   I understand your aunt. I miss it every day.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2018, 08:04:30 PM »
Thanks for keeping thinking guys, my world travels amount to the homeowner that took us over the line to Vancouver one night. They'll spot me coming  :D Who do I talk to about a visa?

I'll keep this all in this thread. I had emailed Mike over the weekend asking about power
Quote
This is a good site for voltage and adapter info: https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/liberia/    They have 110 and 230 over there.  Mostly 60 hz.   Youll want plug adapter type F to plug into most places.

I appreciate your thinking ahead about hand tools.  If you collect a lot of stuff you want to ship over there, let me know. We can ship it via DHL and it will get there safe and sound. 

That makes me think we might be able to break out 110 from the mains. I'll take a cheap meter.

I saw Warren's pic of the guys in the bush shop using hand planes, I've got several I don't use and the weight concerned me, sounds like Mike has us covered on shipping. Once we know what they need let's fit em out. I know your shop looks the same as mine, stuff from Grandpa's and FIL's gathering dust.  :)

Does anyone know of a sympathetic electric tool repair shop, I have a couple of B&D ind/ DW 601 routers that need rebuild I'd be happy to send if we can get them fixed. We ran over 100 of those in one furniture plant in NC they were a very common well balanced 1.5hp router.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2018, 08:53:50 PM »
Don,

   Go to the State department web site https://www.state.gov/ and check on visa requirements. Some countries require you to come with the visa already in your your passport. Others you can buy in the airport. Sometimes you need an invitation from a local travel agency or business or such active in the country.

   Make sure you check closely and follow the requirements. I left Dubai for Brazil, got to Sao Palo and was never allowed to leave the airport. I'd read somewhere I could get the visa there as I had in Kenya, Ethiopia, and other places. I was wrong. The immigration people were very professional but firm and they put me back on the same plane returning to Amsterdam and severely chastised KLM for not checking properly before putting me on board as they, the airlines, are responsible for making sure you can legally go to any country they transport you too. Delta checked and stopped my wife in Charlotte before sending her to join me. Was a very tiring and very expensive lesson.

   Often equipment like laptops are dual voltage and you only need to get an adapter plug, readily available in any airport, to plug into the local power outlet. Check the data plate before taking it with you.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2018, 09:03:39 PM »
Liberian embassy in US:   http://www.liberianembassyus.org/index.php?page=consular

We used a visa service rather than interacting directly with the embassy. I got my visa after purchasing an airline ticket which of course was coordinated with the rest of the group.   Whether directly with the embassy or with the visa service you send your passport, yellow card, visa application, 2 passport like photos, the visa service application, and appropriate fees.  Took about 3 weeks.  The passport comes back with the visa glued to one of its blank pages.

It is necessary to have a passport that will not expire within 6 months, to get the visa.  So the first step is to make sure you have a passport and that it will not expire soon.
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker, hydraulics everywhere), Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2018, 09:53:42 PM »
I appreciate the tips from you experienced travelers. It seems I have a lot to learn about world travel.
2017 LT40 wide, Kubota l185dt, 2-036 stihl, 2001 Dodge 3500 5.9 Cummings,

Offline Darrel

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2018, 08:51:00 AM »
I appreciate the tips from you experienced travelers. It seems I have a lot to learn about world travel.

As do I!  :P
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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2018, 06:03:20 PM »
Most assuredly, put it in here whenever a thought comes to mind :).
 
My folks sent an email with some more thoughts and tips that I think are worth sharing;

A few tips Mom and I found to be helpful: Duffle bags are rugged and can hold a variety of things, especially if you use a couple of sheet rock buckets with lids to protect and corral stuff that might poke or damage other things.  The real value comes from the many uses the buckets may serve in your daily life while on site. We found that the locals were thrilled to get the buckets when we left. Too bad we don't have our two bags to pass on to you.


I made the mistake of giving up the tools that I had taken for them too early in my stay, and many vanished with the bosses, leaving those who proved to be the real workers without the advantage of the very things I had taken for them. Pretty soon, just as in the states, you will find that there are good, faithful workers and good slackards.


Be diligent in following the rules on the do's and don'ts of food and water consumption. Never fall into the trap that "just a small sip or bite won't hurt." Our systems really have been pampered and will get really out of sorts when we ignore that fact.


If the sponsoring mission organization has not considered clean water as one of the greatest things they can do for the kids they are helping to educate there, I suggest they link up with Water Missions International. Maybe Water Missions can provide one of their systems.  They are simple, not expensive and really work.  The Green family, Water Mission's founders, are good people and have a "make it happen" attitude when it comes to getting a need fulfilled.


Another thing I learned in Bulgaria, Russia and Moldova is that, although the people were poor, the country backward by our standards and appearance (around a century behind) don't think they are not savvy and creative and smart.  They remind me of eastern N.C. farmers of eighty years ago. With a lot of that hard knocks skill and a little baling wire they accomplished amazing things.


Another thing I learned was that my ways were not always the only and right way to do things. I know you are surprised to read that. Mom nearly fainted. 

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2018, 06:19:35 PM »
Don't just not drink the water but don't brush you'r teeth with it either.
Collector and builder of many things.
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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2018, 06:33:14 PM »
Oh, I don't know if y'all noticed, the Liberian embassy requires 2 passport size photos and you need another for your passport, so get at least 3. Thanks TT that was just in time, I'm going down to get that and the passport stuff done in the morning.

My folks have apparently scoured the country looking for the sawmill site, can any of you point it and where we'll be or the coordinates from google earth out?

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2018, 07:06:42 PM »
Don't just not drink the water but don't brush you'r teeth with it either.
Good advice.  I took a Sawyer water bottle, has a filter inside, and drank from wherever I chose.  My companions were using bottled water.  Sawyer has several very good water systems, another is a couple liter bag one can hang up, or another is a 5 gal bucket kit where you hook it to a hole in the bottom of any bucket, I think that one can deliver a million gallons with occasional back flushing with a syringe which is included.

Sawyer water filtration products are inexpensive and available on Amazon.

I keep the water bottle in the glove compartment of our boat when I'm not traveling.
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker, hydraulics everywhere), Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2018, 07:07:47 PM »
Oh, I don't know if y'all noticed, the Liberian embassy requires 2 passport size photos and you need another for your passport, so get at least 3. Thanks TT that was just in time, I'm going down to get that and the passport stuff done in the morning.

My folks have apparently scoured the country looking for the sawmill site, can any of you point it and where we'll be or the coordinates from google earth out?
Very much understand and appreciate the interest but I'm hesitant to post exact locations for several reasons including privacy and it's not my right to do so. 
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker, hydraulics everywhere), Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2018, 07:16:46 PM »
Ah! Understood, in the fullness of time  :).

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2018, 01:45:11 PM »
As for the 3 passport photos, do they all three need to be identical? The reason I ask is, I just got my photo taken for my concealed carry license and was given 2 copies. Then got it taken again last week to get my passport renewed. So, I have 2 extras that are not identical. Kevin
2017 LT40 wide, Kubota l185dt, 2-036 stihl, 2001 Dodge 3500 5.9 Cummings,

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2018, 10:14:17 PM »
2 identical ones to get the Liberian visa, download their application and read it and its instructions to be sure. 2x2 on a white background head shot
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker, hydraulics everywhere), Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2018, 11:13:44 PM »
I asked at the post office yesterday if she could make me a couple of extra passport photo copies, they are not allowed to. She said the Rite Aid pharmacy did them as well, somewhere like that might be an option.

One other thing that was a surprise that might help someone else. The closest post office to me that could do passports was down in NC. I had the state dept form and everything they asked for on the website... well I took everything but my toe tag in a vanilla envelope. Then she said, "oh, your from out of state, I need another form of ID". She had seen 3 birth certificates, SS card, Drivers, Marriage and needed one more  ??? I emptied my wallet and we started going through everything, what worked was she spotted a voter registration card, wouldn't hurt to carry that with you too.

Mike said manuals have been sent over several times but you know how that goes. He emailed a set and I have the Kohler manual downloaded as well thanks to Marty, happy to email any of that. I was going to put them on a flash drive to carry with and leave there as well, I'm kind of thinking of finding a place in the beach house to stash one as well.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2018, 04:33:32 PM »
Story time! Let's hear all about it when you get settled in :)

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2018, 06:38:03 PM »
Just got back last night from Liberia.  12 days out and back.  Got a few things to catch up on. 
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker, hydraulics everywhere), Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2018, 06:52:57 PM »
I am anxious to hear.
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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2018, 01:45:25 PM »
I look forward to hearing about your trip!
2017 LT40 wide, Kubota l185dt, 2-036 stihl, 2001 Dodge 3500 5.9 Cummings,

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2018, 08:00:28 AM »
Looking forward to hearing about your experiance.

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2018, 08:21:46 PM »
@terrifictimbersllc,  Dennis I remember you were looking for a sharpener for the swing blade mill. It occurred to me today that edgers often run insert teeth that can be filed and easily replaced when damaged. Would it be worth exploring that type of blade rather than carbide tipped?

I hear you are a rail straightener too, that must have been fun! 

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Re: more help needed in Liberia
« Reply #46 on: February 25, 2018, 01:00:10 AM »
Well, I have all my shots,pills and passport. This week Ill get my tickets and start on the visa. This should be a real eye opener. 
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Last post October 19, 2015, 12:35:27 AM
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