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...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Back to Work - Africa style

So today got a late start due to rain, seems they use it a bit like a snow delay in the US (or so the fable goes). It certainly seemed to work today. I've been trying to get some concrete answers. Actually, I'm trying to get some concrete output. That's where Africa style is still waiting to meet up with me. I keep hearing wonderful things, but I need results. The chairman (Eric) is having us write the memorandum of understanding (mou), which is great. We define the written agreement.

There seem to be structural issues with the productivity of the council though. Eric is an elected official and in charge, but the administrators and the head admin are employees who apparently have no thoughts of either working or being let go. They are rarely at the office, nevermind working. The head admin has been suspended once already. Not that the top helps; to meet with Eric himself today we had to go to his house after waiting an hour at the office (12:30-1:30).

This is not to take anything away from Eric, he is very much in tune with things and has a very good mind for development. One of my favorite quotations though is "it is not the consciousness of men that creates their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness." How can one function outside of the only world they know? My pathway must lie in trying to navigate both his and my worlds...

We talked about some other very good ideas. And my crew here came up with some other one's following the meeting. More on that in time. But the goal is to get the MOU and copies of the proposals for the the brick machines and diaspora donation network asap. From there we can take these documents to possible donors here and in the US. We are looking to approach other NGOs and the Ministry of Finance here for support. It would be great to get the bricks up and running on funds from here. We will see.

I want to give this process two weeks. Then I aim to get out onto the trails, delegate the ground work to the team here, and get back to learning. I'll always be within just a few hours of Makeni if need be, and I need to get the trip back to where it intended to be. The more I see, the more ideas we'll all have to work with!!

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