Linnea Ashley on March 26th, 2010

I staggered – literally -to the bathroom with my flashlight in hand. A few hours later I wrapped myself up in the bedsheet against the blazing cold. I say blazing because Ganta is not cold – it is barely even cool at night. Then this morning I found myself lethargic and sleepy and slightly nauseated. […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 26th, 2010

I’d been fooled before. Gotten excited and mentally prepared only to be disappointed when the call never came or the whole thing was called off. And so I packed, but I didn’t alter my Wednesday plans. All the more so since I had been calling our counterpart for two days to try and solidify our […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 26th, 2010

Too much time had passed. And while we’d connected briefly (and infrequently) by phone, the tangible is better than the verbal, especially where family is concerned. so I headed south to see the Brights and bask in the laughter and acceptance they so readily offer. Of course there was food – my chronic hunger is […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 26th, 2010

I left my second visit with tears scratching at my eyes, my breathing rapid, my vision blurred. It had been more than a week since my previous visit to Grace, the abandoned hydrocephalic baby at Phebe hospital. I’d been distracted.Her bed was shrouded by white and pink sheet, a new addition from the last time. […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 26th, 2010

My sweet little man. That bright-smiled deep-dimpled love of my heart.Elijah.I at once craved and dreaded seeing my little angle. Excited because his smile, his laugh, his breast-fed plumpness and joy brings a smile to my face so easily; dreaded because to see him again means his mother is still sick.And so my heart rose […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 17th, 2010

In defiance of all generalizations and laughingly agreed upon norms among my Liberian and American friends, Liberians were the first to arrive at our party- well before any Americans showed their faces. First was Belecca, friend in tow, dressed to the nines in a lapa suit I’d never seen and a fancy head wrap.I hadn’t […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 17th, 2010

They are often yellow. Technically they are cars. The similarity between Liberian taxis and American ones ends there.Even outside of California’s extreme, where the rules of vehicle maintenance seem to border on impossible to maintain, there are limits to the jalopy-ness permissible in a motor vehicle. All the more so if people will be paying […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 17th, 2010

It was exquisite.Despite sleep still pressing lightly on my senses, I could hear it in the distance.I mistook it for a call to prayer – the voice clearly singing Arabic – but the sound was not a call to prayer, it was music. And at the far reaches of 5am, the sun still blushing below […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 17th, 2010

Soft like the final raindrops of a lingering storm – its rage exhausted – I heard the patter footsteps. My paraffin lamp pinned my shadowed self to the dark walls while my flesh self crouched on a wooden chair hugging my knees and repeated a whispered mantra over and over.“please don’t get into my bed. […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 11th, 2010

She didn’t make a sound. Her small eyes looked left and right, not quite fixing on any one thing. But she didn’t cry. She was noiseless.It was larger this time. Ill-fitted to her tiny body. Her soft feet and hands seemed so insubstantial – weightless – against the enormity of her swelling head.Little Grace. Hydrocephalic. […]

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