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March 07, 2004

I think I need my borders

For the last little while, I've been waiting for The Real Story to start over on VanessaWithoutBorders.

Vanessa was at Banff back in '02 and was a self-proclaimed 'New York Hipster' who was trying to work out what it was all about - what she was going to do with herself as the novelty of noomeeja and countless burningman festivals wore thin.

And she's just arrived in Sierra Leone to try and make a difference and it sounds like she's had to hit the ground running...

There is no one here in Koidu, or in the country at large, who has been unaffected by the war. Almost everyone I meet has lost a parent, child, or spouse. Or they have walked for hundreds of miles in flight, often losing family along the way. One security guard told me in casual conversation, “my wife was slaughtered by the rebels. I don’t have new wife because I don’t want her to be bad to my small children.” In our own house in Freetown our houseman, Abu, walked all the way from to Koidu to Freetown, a total of over 200 miles, after the rebels came and burned his boutiques and house. He has gone from owning businesses to ironing our clothes and washing our dishes. But in today’s Sierra Leone, he’s just thankful to find work. His story is here is a common one.

Vanessa - best of luck. I'm watching, as they say, this space.

Posted by Tom Dolan at March 7, 2004 10:37 PM

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