Liberia

Eggplant stew, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and life on a rubber plantation.

The Movie: Out of My Hand

Out of My Hand (2015) - IMDb
Photo copyright IMDB

This movie showed the life of a man who worked on a rubber plantation. One day the men all go on strike, but their wives tell them to go back to work. Instead of going to work they pretend like they’re going to work and then sit around an abandoned building and listen to the radio instead. I’m really not sure why they thought their wives wouldn’t know where they were. Eventually the owner of the plantation tells them to go back to work and evicts one of the men who didn’t. At this point the protagonist decides he’s had enough and moves to the US where he works as a taxi driver in New York. He sends money home to his family, but his kids keep asking when he’s coming back. There were some slow scenes, like when he was sitting in his car watching the water from the car wash on the windows or when he was changing his tire. I thought it was interesting that there wasn’t more focus on the war, either about repercussions or rebuilding from it.

The Book: This Child Will Be Great by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

I didn’t know a lot about Liberia before reading this. I could have told you that Sirleaf was the president at one point, that the country was set up by freed slaves from the US, and that they’d probably had a civil war. Even though this was her autobiography, it also served as a history of the country as well. I definitely learned a lot about Liberia through this book.

The Food: Liberian Style Eggplant Stew

I followed this recipe, minus the chicken. I don’t think I cooked it long enough at all- it was burning so I pulled it a lot earlier than the recipe said, but I think maybe that was supposed to add flavor. In any case, not the best meal I’ve had. I also think the eggplants I have are different so maybe it would be better with bigger ones. I had to skip the tomato paste and fish sauce as well, which were probably also supposed to add flavor.

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