Sunday, August 10
I’m sitting in a giant brown chair in my living room listening to Ice Ice Baby blasting at full volume from the stereo in the corner, completely overshadowing the hum of the generator. I just finished an early dinner of rice and a tasty fish stew with my housemates, Emmanuel and Abraham. I’ve been sitting in this chair for the past hour or so beginning to transcribe an interview I conducted this morning with a former child soldier, my first such interview. We met near his house by the
Where I’m living
But now back to my living room. I am staying with a Sierra Leonean guy named Emmanuel, along with his best friend, Abraham, and foster daughter, Josephine. Emmanuel runs a local NGO called the Society for Democratic Initiatives (SDI), and has studied in the
The house is in an area called Bobadurie, and is about a ten minute walk from a main road. By this point, I have gotten to know a lot of the people who live in the area, so whenever I leave the house I hear shouts of “Rebecca! Rebecca!” coming from all directions. The trek to the house is a bit of a pain because the stretch of “road” before you come to the place is made up of two hills, the first of which is impassible by car. The problem with these hills is that they are steep enough to leave me drenched in sweat when I walk up during the hot or humid part of the day, but also become very slippery when the rain comes (which is at least once a day). Sometimes the bottoms of the hills even turn into mini rivers when the rain comes down hard. But the good part of the hills is the gorgeous view of the ocean and the town that we have from the veranda!
What I’ve been doing
I’ve basically spent my first two weeks settling in, getting to know
After many frustrating brainstorming sessions and crossed out pages in my notebook, I have finally gotten a handle on my plan for the year. I am going to document the reintegration experiences of former child soldiers in my project countries, trying to understand how they have been living since they went through demobilization. I have gotten permission from the Watson foundation to add