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...

The Original Project

Walking Lion is the initial endeavor of a larger concept for socio-economic development focused on post-conflict and post-war areas of the world.  This autumn, I will go to Sierra Leone on an exploratory trip through the country.  This trip will set in motion the initial stages of both a new non-profit organization and a writing project designed to enhance any work being or to be done.  The layout of my trip will be an approximate three month 'walk' / 'hike' through the entire country in an effort to gain a first hand understanding of Sierra Leone from the ground up.  The journey itself will be chronicled through out via this blog www.walkinglion.org.  The purpose of this is to raise both awareness for, and understanding of, the issues faced within the country.

The Journey should start in October, which allows me to miss the bulk of the rainy season, and will run into January.   I will be traveling by foot and will solely use the Vibram Five Fingers and live as naturally as possible.  I will start in Freetown where I hope to spend up to the first full week adjusting to local scenarios and the time change.  I will be meeting with local individuals and non-profit representatives during this week and also working to set up visits in various cities and throughout the countryside for during the trip.  Following this initial set-up stage, the journey is not as of yet set in stone.  I feel that this is a better way to approach it - allow it to happen as the country and time dictates.  However, I will be heading out of Freetown by foot and 'backpacking' through the countryside.  I will be carrying everything I need on my back and sleeping in a hammock.  While the exact itinerary is not yet set, I will be trying to go through as many villages and cities as I can, from the ocean side areas on the coast and islands, to the mining regions in the eastern inland areas, and the mountainous areas of the north.  I specifically plan to climb Mount Bintumani and visit the other national parks en route.  But the trip is about people, it is about learning and trying to understand the lives that people in Sierra Leone are living as they move past the horrors of war, and also to see what can be done to help them obtain their goals and dreams.

During the time in Sierra Leone, in addition to my interactions in and with villages, beaches, and mountains, I will be working specifically to identify issues and current transitions the country is facing, so as to help formulate possible methods of addressing these issues through specific symbiotic community/business projects.  Time will specifically be spent looking for both networking, and future partnership, opportunities throughout the country that can then be expanded upon in the future.  I believe that through my planned marketing strategies and professional experience that the blog will generate increasing traffic and help raise awareness of both the Sierra Leone's situations and also the specific organizations and people that I coordinate and communicate with on my journey.

Upon returning from the journey, the new non-profit organization's management team will meet and assess the options identified during the trip and decide upon which project/s are the most feasible and relevant to work towards implementing in Sierra Leone.  For a list of 'key' posts for understanding the project, click here.