Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The last leg

This entry features the last leg of my internship in Liberia. This week has meetings lined up with senior ministers at the MoGD to understand their aspirations and objectives for the MoGD in the next 5 years. Having Lauren as a colleague in the MoGD is a huge boost and am confident to get two solid deliverables –(i) internal capacity assessment report and (ii) 5 year strategic plan in by the end of our internship.

Last weekend, I made some progress with Stephen Ellis’ ‘Mask of Anarchy’. The book is informative and factual – so much so that it’s difficult to absorb all the little conspiracies and intrigue that played out in Liberia and broader West Africa in the 1980s and 1990s. Liberia was definitely not isolated in its politics under Samuel Doe, Charles Taylor and Prince Johnson, but rather was part of a larger web of West African interests that included Nigeria, Cote d’Voire, Guinea and Sierra Leone. 

Liberia continues to fascinate me and one of my favourite places in the country is Margibi county, the pit stop to go fishing or take a boat out to the river. Sunday’s excursion included going to chimpanzee island (the 32 or so chimps spread out over 13 small islands were used for research by US medical research who are now enjoying ‘retirement’ in these islands). Photos from random excursions around Liberia as below. 

                                      Dirt cheap movie DVDs: Sustenance for rainy evenings
 Canoeing on Ducor river on a hot Saturday afternoon
 The locals who did the actual canoeing
 Expat haven #3: Firestone rubber plantation with its very own golf course
 Liberian local dish #4: Jollof rice (a mound of spicy fried rice with fried chicken at the side and hot pepper sauce)
 Chimp island near Margibi: better and closer pictures will be in the photo-stream

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