The Way of Kindness: A Journey With No Steps

Poor Roads Hinder Reporting

When I think about Liberia, I'm back in a van with Ernest. He's driving, the van is shuddering, sounding like a just-dropped bag of scrap metal, and I'm somewhere in the chasm of the van's back seats, bobbing, as we ride out the force of the latest pothole.

We spent our days like this, Ernest and I. His job was to shuttle around a group of grad students from Harvard-in the morning, to the government ministries where they interned, and at night, back to a gated, barb-wired compound where they slept. When one of the interns urged her little sister to come join-just pitch an article and come research it-Ernest was saddled with a 25-year-old white American who had places to be only if she could arrange interviews, and zero grasp of what "post-conflict" means for travel.