go west young lady! back to liberia

It’s finally time to head west. I’m leaving Uganda (East Africa) and heading west to Liberia (West Africa). After 1 month in Uganda on my special mission it’s a strange feeling to say goodbye to the ‘Pearl of Africa’ with its wonderful climate and friendly people. I realised how much I love beautiful blue skies with fluffy white clouds ☺.
It’s interesting to observe how quickly we adapt to new routines, and how odd it feels to think of leaving a place and returning to the old faces and places. Out west I know exactly what to expect and the routines aren’t so attractive anymore, so even though we were working hard in Uganda from morning to evening (long 10 to 12 hour days were common), the change from the routine was refreshing.
I won’t bore you with the details of our special assignment, but the days passed by in a blur of competencies, written words, evaluations, spoken words, criteria, reports, discussions and analyses– the final result too secretive that we don’t even know the full list of winners! ☺ Anyway, the coolest outcome for me personally is that I made another 15 friendz…people who are doing the same job as me in different locations around the post-conflict world. There were a few intense moments between us, which is inevitable when you spend so long together in a closed container huddled over papers and wordz, but by the end we were all smiling (or was it the crazed hysteria of our sleep deprived, overworked state?) and promising to hook up on facebook. (Let’s see)
Now the task has been completed and we’re all flying back to our missions. Sad farewells.
The most unexpected thing I learned from the experience is that I came to realise that I’m better off in Liberia than I thought! I should finally accept that I have a good job, a fair amount of autonomy and responsibility, a nice apartment, nice flat-mate, and the freedom to move around the city and the country. Maybe the work will get more interesting, but even if it doesn’t (why should it she asks cynically?), I should still be satisfied that I’m not living in a 20 foot container, in torrid heat, surrounded by the same people everyday, scared for my life because of the tough security conditions, and never having the privacy and freedom of movement that a sane person needs. Rather than gritting my teeth to get thru’ the weeks and months, I should just chill and enjoy Liberia, becoz my next job might not be so comfortable.
So while I sit in the business class lounge waiting for the long flight west, I feel surprisingly okay about returning to living in Liberia. Meanwhile, I’ve been energised, made new friends, and done my bit for the cause. My love of Uganda has been renewed and strengthened. The ‘Pearl of Africa’ is a country with such potential if only it were able to get over its political challenges and enjoy real democratic governance and freedom.
So here’s to a safe flight and a more optimistic perspective on Liberia once I get back to my little blue cube in west africa. 🙂

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