Recalling Life in Liberia

Yes, I remember: boiling leaves to eat; rubbing leaves on your skin because you have no soap; crushing leaves under your arms so that you don’t smell bad. Leaves and dirt, sticks and rocks: these are the only things a refugee can count on. Even if the exiles go home, the average wage in Liberia is about $1.25 a day. Many people have no clean water or flush toilets. Their lives are hard every day. There is no route to riches. To get money from America is like a blessing from God—bread falling from the sky.

Louise Troh, writing in Vanity Fair about the death of her longtime love Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola in Dallas. Troh came to America from Liberia in 1998 as a political refugee.

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