Thoughts on a Liberian Gas Station

Today’s thoughts on our Liberian Mission trip
Liberian Gas Station(I will be writing something like this up for the next few weeks to try to share a little of the wonderful experience we had in Harrisburg)
We all know about getting gas when the car is low – you pull into the station, slide your card down the slot so the pump kicks on and then automatically bills your card for the amount you have spent once you are done and shut it off. Some of us even remember the ‘good old days’ when an attendant came bouncing out with a big smile, and while you sat happily in the seat put however much gas you wanted in the tank, and also checked the oil, tire pressure and washed the windshield for you while the tank was filling! I gotta admit I miss those days when it is rainy or cold and snowy, not to mention the big smile, wave and shout of “Have a great day!” as you pulled away.
We found things a little different when we were in Liberia. Instead of the gas station with its big sign and the price visible for miles we are used to ,you looked for a collection of quart and gallon jars filled with orange or green liquid on a stand or table by the side of the road and a hand written ‘Gas’ sign on the ground beside it with the price per gallon on it.
There is an underground tank somewhere – this picture shows the guy in the yellow shirt hand cranking the gas out of the tank and into a barrel where the man in the plaid shirt is dipping the gas out in one gallon mayonnaise jars (the official gas measuring container at almost all stations!)
liberian gas station 2This picture shows the gallons of gas we have paid for (and yes you definitely pay for the gas before it is ‘dispensed’) sitting in the red clay dirt as the are poured into the tank. Note Pryde on the left side of the picture looking into the barrel to see how much dirt has been rinsed off the mayonnaise jars as they are hand dipped into it to be refilled – thank God for fuel filters in Liberia!!
The man on the right of the picture in the yellow/orange shirt is our driver David. He is keeping a careful count of the amount of gas we are getting. Remember that the average daily income in Liberia is about $1.00 per person per day – that $60.00 fill up is equal to a person’s income for TWO MONTHS in Liberia. You keep careful track of that kind of money!!
This last picture shows the gas being poured into the funnel by hand and into the tank. And yes it is the gas is indeed little cloudy (that thank God for fuel filters stuff remember), but you know what we did get again??? That personal service, great big delighted smile, calls of have a great day and even waves as we pulled away!

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