Linnea Ashley on January 28th, 2010

I’m not starving to death.The bugs have not eaten me alive.My house is quite sturdy and nice.I feel like maybe I’m misrepresenting my time here without intending to. I know I have a running commentary on food and water or the lack thereof, but the severity I’m feeling is really in the contrast. My bay […]

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Linnea Ashley on January 28th, 2010

Despite waking up at 6:30, I didn’t get out of bed until 10 this morning. I was in the nebulous space between exhaustion and sickness. I blamed my lethargy on the flu shot I was forced to take but it could just as easily have been dehydration – I only had one liter of water […]

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Linnea Ashley on January 28th, 2010

Privacy, or the expectation of it anyway, is a conceit of my privilege, a byproduct of my sense of entitlement. The notion that what is mine, tangible and otherwise, is mine…my garbage, the act of washing my clothes, or reading on my porch…merely an illusion in Liberia.My frustration at being forced to share the intimacies […]

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Linnea Ashley on January 26th, 2010

The ants have gone crazy. Maybe they’re thirsty. Maybe the heat has gotten to them. I’m not really sure, but this weekend I found myself drinking them as they tried to gather the sweet traces from the mouth of my water bottle – I’d been eating banana bread and they can smell even that. one […]

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Linnea Ashley on January 24th, 2010

I picked up the palm frond from the makeshift parking lot beside the hospital. There is no paving there, but the hospital and county health department vehicles often park there when not in use or when they are being worked on. The patch of parched earth and scraggly grass was almost empty and the hospital […]

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Linnea Ashley on January 22nd, 2010

I heard the siren. We all did. And so necks craned and eyes strained through doors and windows to see the ambulance racing up the road to the hospital. Some speculated on what or who…but mostly we took note before returning to whatever held our attention just moments before. While not common, the blue lights […]

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Linnea Ashley on January 21st, 2010

Life here is a fickle two-year-old. Yesterday was the first day she didn’t cry or cower behind the nearest person not me. Yesterday she walked up to me, her round chocolate face so cute and beaming, no pants, stomach distended with a huge bellybutton bulging out like an appendage.She smiled at me. Held out her […]

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Linnea Ashley on January 21st, 2010

“they held me and gang raped me for three weeks.”It hung there, with no more weight from her voice than when she’d talked about the differences between Nigerian and Liberian palm nuts.She pointed to the jagged gash on her arm where they broke a bottle over her arm.“I almost died,” she said of the rape. […]

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Linnea Ashley on January 19th, 2010

Our pump is out of water. Not all pumps, but the one closest to our house. And the one in front of the nursing school has bad water. The next pump I’m familiar with is on the other side of the school and I’m not- I can’t – haul water that far.Well, I suppose if […]

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Linnea Ashley on January 16th, 2010

The first time I saw an apple beyond Monrovia‘s city limits, it was nestled beside un-refrigerated yogurt cups and foster clark’s *packages. They, along with a myriad of other random and unrelated objects – crackers, soap- bumped along the rutted dirt path in front of the nursing school. The apple was 70LD ($1) and I […]

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