Thursday, January 5, 2012

what did we learn

>> for some, i might be humorous. i now walk around my house at about 6:30 with a flashlight, locking every window, acting like some sort of pudgy peace corps night watchman, humming to myself doodley doo dum dum while i lock the windows, double check the back door and front door. after drinking palm wine with foday or whatever the evening's activities are, i lock the front door, put my laptop into my backpack (i no longer leave it at the school overnight. paranoid), along with my camera (because in the parlor its too far away), and zip it up, strip down, get into bed, and basically spoon with my backpack. i have to admit that the backpack never complains about my morning breath, never gets upset when i want to pillow talk, and is always there in the morning waiting for me, with drool marks on the zipper. i think i've found the love of my life. thank you, african thief, for making me stupidly paranoid :) i love and miss you all :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


>> so, maybe christmas here just isn't meant to be. i made the decision each year to stay in my village for christmas because i thought it was important but each time, it has sucked. this year, we had a tremendous christmas eve and christmas day, going to a dance christmas night from about 9 PM to 2 AM. the next day, boxing day, we had similar ideas, but foday (being inebriated) changed the plans so we came home around 10:30. we came home, and foday immediately made for the couch and curled in a ball. i said, "NO! GO SLEEP IN YOUR ROOM!" Foday laughed, and I went to my room. To find my safe gone. The nails bent sideways, a knife on the floor bent in half, my mattress askew, the drawers to my bed ripped open, the screen torn, and one of the iron bars that is supposed to keep burglars out bent completely out. i had been robbed. inside the safe was about Le3,000,000 for staff quarters construction, Le233,000 in teacher truancy fines, Le280,000 of my own money, two pairs of my glasses, and on top, my Zune mp3 player. all gone. happy christmas. the police are investigation as are more traditional methods (sorcerer / wizard) but in reality, the money is likely gone. the happy ending to the story is that two ministers of the sierra leone government have donated to me the stolen money (and extra money for my own living expenses) so in the end, there will be no time lost to the theft and limited stress (now) on me money-wise, HOWEVER, the take-away message here is that i am in freetown for a mental health week for how terribly violating this entire event was. my entire village was incredibly supportive, bringing food, palm wine, offering condolencences and support, and generally trying their best to calm me down (the morning after the robbery i started packing my bags to go home to america). thefts happen, but the worst thefts i believe are those that leave the victim just that. victimized. afraid to sleep in your own bedroom. i'm in freetown for a week to get my head back on straight, to recognize the generosity of sierra leoneans (as well as the greed), and to try to enjoy myself. i refuse to give up, africa. you're trying your damndest, but i refuse. i love and miss you all :)