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, May 6, 2012


So timing is something that I will never quite understand, and probably shouldn't even attempt to...  On Sunday April 15th I learned I would not be starting a Phd program in September, that Wednesday I lost my job and my relationship was in dire turmoil.  Seemingly every part of my life had schismed aimlessly within just a couple days of each other.  Time as I knew it had stopped. 

What do you think happened that very next day?  I was standing in Union Square talking about getting a think tank going, and to people about this crazy couple of days when my phone vibrated and three quick successive emails came through.  They were from Yapo!  Now, anyone new to this blog won't know him, but he is my guy in Sierra Leone.  Around the turn of the year I had scratched together some money for our Africa work and sent it out to him.  We needed to get our national and municipal registrations up to snuff for our community organization in Sierra Leone and the bank account open.  We went back and forth for a while as it took me longer than expected to get the money and get it to him.  Things had kinda gone quite  and then when I sent the money I didn't hear anything.  He had told me he would be doing some election monitoring and be a way for a bit so I didn't know what happened.  I was worried, but Sierra Leone is an interesting place.  There is no electricity pretty much anywhere and communications are really tough.  He basically never got my messages saying the money had been sent, thus never picked it up.  He thought I just didn't send anything.  So he slowly got together some cash to do the registrations himself.  When he sent me the certificates I immediately asked if he had gotten the money.  No!  He went that night and got it all.  So now we have a sizable chunk of cash sitting in the bank!  We still have to do a couple administrative things, but we are up and running!

We do not have a specific project yet that we have committed to, but as of right now we are strongly looking at verma composting (composting with worms) of waste, and also at a sustainable internet cafe/office to work from.  That is where the most interest came from the government and seems most viable.  It is really tricky though as without personally going there and getting to work on it, it is very difficult to make things happen. 

All in all though, it was fortuitous that he simply popped back up when he did.  Down to the day itself!  Perhaps there is something to our connection that is in fact incomprehensible!?  Or maybe things just happen incomprehensibly... But I do know that it brought a huge smile to my face, and I immediately ran around the park and told everyone.  Any rain on my face that day was quickly washed away...  I had hope again of finishing what I started.  :)

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