Thursday, March 31, 2011

Twenty Dollars

>> I'm not going to add pretext to this, $1 is equal to about ~4300Leones now, so $20 is equivalent to about 80,000 Leones. Some prices of common items:

  1. One trimester of school (20,000Le)

  2. One year of school (60,000Le)

  3. Bottle of Water (3,000Le)

  4. Tin of Sardines (3,000Le)

  5. Bottle of Ketchup (3,500Le)

  6. Serving of Petete Leaf and Rice (1,000Le)

  7. Pack of Cheese (4,500Le)

  8. Bottle of Mayo (18,000Le)

  9. Peanut Butter Cake (100Le)

  10. Pack of Peanuts (100Le)

  11. Charging your Phone (1000Le)

  12. Units to Text (2,200Le)

  13. Can of Baked Beans (4,000Le)

  14. Gallon of Petrol (20,000Le)

  15. Transport from Gbendembu to Makeni (10,000Le)

  16. Transport from Makeni to Gbendembu (15,000Le)

  17. Bottle of Brown Mustard (8,500Le)

  18. Bottle of French Dressing (18,000Le)

  19. Notebook (2,500Le)

  20. Pen (500Le)

  21. Soft Drink (2,000Le)

  22. Roll of Toilet Paper (3,000Le)

  23. Bottle of Honey (3,000Le)

  24. Loaf of Bread (500Le)

  25. Pack of Cakes (500Le)

  26. Packet of Water (500Le)

  27. Boiled Egg (1000Le)

  28. Cup of Rice (900Le)

  29. Medium Onion (500Le)

  30. Large Onion (1000Le)

  31. STAR Beer (3,000Le)

  32. Can of Coke (4,000Le)

  33. 40 Oz. Carlsberg (6,000Le)

  34. small can of Carlsberg (5,000Le)

  35. Gallon of Palm Wine (2,500Le)

  36. Transport from Makeni to Freetown (15,000Le)

  37. Can of Pringles (14,500Le)

  38. Packet of Oreos (6,000Le)

  39. Battery Powered Light (17,000Le)

  40. Packet of 8 Candles (5,000Le)

  41. Kit Kat (4,000Le)

  42. Ginger Beer (500Le)

You can do all the fun conversions for yourself, but these are some of the prices I've encountered in my time here in Sierra Leone. Food for thought. I love and miss you all! :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We Sing Our Praise to Thee

>> Something I love is the really amazing and incredible coincidences that I run into here :) Here's a bunch recently all involving Illinois:

  1. My mosquito net is from Roselle, Illinois.

  2. The notebooks I purchased (because mine were full) were made in Downers Grove, Illinois.

  3. One of my carpenters' favorite hats is a Chicago Bulls hat.

  4. One of my favorite drivers is never without his favorite Chicago Bears hat.

  5. A man at the checkpoint to get to my village was wearing a University of Illinois t-shirt complete with the Chief Illliniwek symbol.

  6. A man at the recent sport meet at my school had a WGN Radio / Chicago Bears fanny pack

  7. Another man at the same meet was wearing an old-school Chicago Bears jacket

  8. A man on the side of the road (on my way to Freetown yesterday) was wearing a Brian Urlacher jersey.

It's really pretty surreal to look and see CHICAGO on someone's shirt here in Africa but it always brings a smile to my face and makes me realize the world is a little bit smaller. But, I saved the best for last:

SORI BANGURA, a man of high esteem in my town, met me a few months ago. Our friendship was easy, he is a very productive farmer and often has cold beer and good stories to tell. The reason he's in this post? You'll never guess his alma mater. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, class of 1969. Your humble author? The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain, class of 2009. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES of me finding another alumni from my university in my tiny village of Gbendembu?! That smile on your face? On mine too. I love and miss you all :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

oh hi, internet

>> It's been awhile. Almost two months. I'm writing a bunch of posts now and I'll time-release them to come up over the next few weeks. I hope you've all been well! I love and miss you all :)