Voyages & Découvertes

Linda searchs for her father Theo Verwilligen

Wednesday 9 September 2009 by Mardaga

Within the discharge of my duties, I made a trip to Robert International Airport (RIA); the international airport in Liberia is about 57 kms from the capital Monrovia. The trip is tedious : 1.5 hour. I always love to make a stop over on my way to quench my thirst and smoke a cigarette. As usually, I prefer New Vision : a quiet and discrete refreshment and restaurant place. Coming back to town, I realised after some miles that I had passed the area; I made a turn because I was thirsty for a soda. I sat at a table on the terrace upon arrival there, and a young lady whom I had never seen before proposed to serve me. Well looking and decently dressed, she appeared to be a mulatto. She sat not too far and as our conversation progressed, she asked for my country of origin; interestingly, she could not believe when I told her I am a Belgian. But upon my insistence, she decided to narrate her story.

"My father’s name is Theo Verwilligen. I have only known him at my very earlier age. The civil war came and my mother and I fled the fighting. We escaped in the hinterland, from one region to another, and furthermore to neighbouring countries. We later lost complete track of him, and I am now left alone; I wish desperately to find him".

She then hurried up in the house and brought some papers. With concern and deep interest, I promised her to help. She gave me a picture.

Many days later, I saw her in the restaurant and her story is precise, but the end is not simple. However, the facts are there, and she is hopeful to see her father one day. Rich or poor, she just wanted to be united with him again.

Few weeks had passed; I was fortunate to contact a lady who knew her father but could not tell his whereabouts. I asked her innocently : "Do you think that Theo would be happy to see his daughter again ?" She responded : " yes of course, he adores her." Acquainting her with this conversation the next day, Linda jumped up with joy and hoped again. However, this track up to date has been narrow : and the search for Theo Verwilligen is not as easy as expected.


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