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...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Case in Point

So here is a micro case study of issues in Africa/Sierra Leone. We are sitting outside chatting, dusk turns to dark. I get up to walk Yapo out of the compound. It's dark, I don't have the "cat's eyes" people here seem to develop. Someone called my name, I turn and step towards them and smack!! My foot goes straight into a big rock, I stumble over it, down to my knee and my hand. It's dark I can't see anything. I pick myself up, brush off, start walking... Ow!! I've cut up my toe, of course I don't know this yet, there is no light. It is nothing big but several spots, its bleeding, not just a scratch.

I only know this once I pull out my mobile phone and use its light to see. How else do you see it, there are no street lights, no house lights, nothing. I go inside to dress it. But what about clean water? What about first aid? They recommend salt. I have my stuff, but what would they use? And how do you dress it in the dark? By flashlight...? I sit down in the shower floor, head lamp putting a little light on the situation. But sitting there next to me is the inch and a half cockroach that's been there on its back all day. The floor is grimmy dirty, the water is from the well and been sitting in a bucket all day, but there is the roach "helping" me. At least I have my first aid stuff. They would have just salt - which is not bad.

Point is, we wonder why life here doesn't statistically add up to the West. There is no light so easier accidents. There are only the most basic first aid methods. There is no light to dress a wound by, and there are unsanitary environmental conditions. Power, clean water, medical supplies... all tied up into one stubbed toe. Welcome to Africa... I'll be fine, but what if it was more? And how many people didn't get better? Time to get to work!! :-/

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