What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Introduction Part II

So how does a dream then become reality?  Well for me, at least intrinsically, that means just getting up and making it happen - just going.  But luckily cooler motherly heads prevailed.  I believe that if you really want to learn something you should go into it without much presumption, with an open mind and an open heart.  I.e. just get up and go, figure it out as you make it happen.  But I come back to the initial two desired outcomes: to blog and write about it, and to identify future endeavors.  Ultimately, if we wanted to do these two things properly some planning needed to happen (it also doesn't hurt that the summer time is the rainy season in Sierra Leone and not ideal for backpacking!!)

So we sat down to map out the best way forward.  This of course is a continually fluid scenario, and still being worked on...  ;)  But what we have come up with is that no matter what, if it is a sponsorship scenario or a non-profit entity doing exploratory project research, there has to be a non-profit organization to help facilitate it all.  Donars need their contributions to be tax deductible, and any future endeavor would benefit from a name with a track record.  Unfortunately in our world, the head of a non-profit organization carries more weight than any random backpacker walking through town.  So setting up a non-profit became a priority.  

There are of course a litany of other things that must be done.  Logistics need to be sorted out.  Visas, doing business in SL, length of stay, etc.  What kind of network of cooperation could be achieved both there and in the US?  Are there sympathetic entities on the ground there that would help the project?  How do I contact them, and can they help provide guidance for my trek?  Equipment; everything from communications to a light backpacking stove needed to be researched and decided upon.  A budget, a web presence, a method for connecting and blogging, a group of well intentioned people to delegate to, a board of directors...  People and information...  Funny how the world revolves around those two 'simple' things.  The list continues, language, the Sierra Leone diaspora here in the US, tropical backpacking, security...  Complication after complication...  It certainly would be easier just to pick up and go!! 

But its ok, we'll take the time and plan it out.  Set up a legitimate non-profit organization that can grow over years, map out an agenda and trekking route, obtain the right equipment, wait for the proper time of year, and then go and figure it out...    :)

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