As I stated previously, one of my goals was to find “our old camp” and visit the land of nostalgia…boyhood memories. Our camp housed from 300-400 workers and managers who were commissioned with building the port in Buchanan. Work on this project and the railroad inland to the iron ore fields was quite an undertaking, especially in 1961. The job was completed in 1964.
First, we visited the port. It is now under heavy security…however one of the friends we made was Oretha Johnstone who is the manager of the port. She opened a lot of doors for us. She is another example of a highly educated - STRONG WOMAN – who I believe is an example of the future of this country. She allowed me to walk all around the harbor. It is still strong. Still viable. An impressive testimony to hard work and dedication of all the people who worked on it.
The Harbor also offers hope the government is currently clearing it of a number of sunken ships. Many the casualties of war. The ships are painstakingly being removed and cut up for scrap. They are also planning to accommodate large, deep drafted ships. When the port re opens, it creates major opportunities for Buchanan and Liberia again – unemployment stands at 85% and above…an open, vibrant port creates a lot of jobs, opportunity and HOPE!
We finally found our way to our “old camp”. It’s not far from the Harbor. A few buildings still exist – but I really didn’t recognize them. However, the road that looped through our encampment was still there. Everything overgrown with Savannah and bush.