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...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weight on my shoulders

So despite all the progress that I am making here, it is pretty tough. I am not prepared for this type of working. I came to hike through the country, I came to learn things at a strolling pace, write down ideas, and collate and prioritize them upon returning. I knew it would be tough, I figured I'd lose some weight, I'd be alone and struggle to find people to talk to, I'd be out in the jungle all on my own with unknown animals, insects, and the such around... But, I have done none of this that I prepared for.

I am now here as a business man, yet I did not bring anything a business man needs. No company, no computer, I have but two shirts I can wear for that, there is no electricity, there is sparse internet, and up until just recently I was trying to do business on both continents by my self (more on that in another post). On top of all this, I am staying with a family with 9 kids. They are great kids, but there is no space, and there is really no one to share any of it with that understands me or the world I come from. There also are the cultural scenarios that dictate what you do and the deference you take into every situation. It always must be "on" as well, at home, in public, wherever. There is no rest, always on.

I have also put a great deal of weight on myself through my own ambition. I am trying to do things here that have not really been done much. The way I am trying to structure a non-profit revenue generating development company, and to do business here in Africa is different and difficult. Not untenable by any means, but I have just jumped into the rapids and am trying to swim. I know it will be more rewarding when I get through it, but it is tough now. I know nothing of making bricks, and my drive and incessant eye for what things could be and what projects could be done, makes life completely about things that aren't here and now. Things that the future may hold, but that the present does not.

I came to learn in an academic way, but circumstances changed things, opportunities presented themselves and at those times we have to change things. But this has put a lot of pressure on me. I am feeling the weight of both my lofty expectations of my self, and of the difficulties of the business and living environment here. I have to push through... But it is a trying time... I just wish I had more space to breath!!


  1. Listen to the sounds of the wind, heed the call of the river. Once you have jumped in, sometimes it is wise to stop fighting the current and see where it takes you: perhaps to rapids, but perhaps to paradise.

  2. What a wonderful way to express support and suggest "going with the flow". Thanks