Linnea Ashley on August 29th, 2010

August 29, 2010 Iganga Town, UgandaFinding the balance is treacherous. Somewhere between apathy-inducing sympathy and hypocritical heartlessness I have to believe lays the way to help people help themselves.I have no delusions of grandeur. No belief that I have solutions to old and complex problems that a whole country and generations of people failed to […]

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Linnea Ashley on August 21st, 2010

August 21, 2010Iganga Town, UgandaI haven’t mastered this pseudo post-colonial era in africa. In truth, this is my first true interaction with the way things probably were. I have a high fence with broken bottles glittering in the sunlight to deter unwanted visitors. And if that fence fails I have an armed guard circling the […]

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Linnea Ashley on August 1st, 2010

“did you see the governor of Arizona? Don’t you just love her?! I joined her facebook page.”I’d been trying not to eavesdrop- for once. Trying not to hear the louder than necessary conversation going on behind me. I realized I didn’t want any parts of it when I heard the tall matronly blonde tut-tutting something […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 8th, 2010

She looked at me a little confused. Her nose, in the center of a clear teak complexion, crinkled slightly as she shook her head. “hair is something we do as friends, you don’t pay for it.”I had pulled out LD ready to pay her as much for her cornrowing skill (I have more hair than […]

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Linnea Ashley on March 4th, 2010

There are times when the generosity and kindness of Liberians makes it easy to forget that the country was ravaged by war – or the crisis, as it is often referred. But little things prick the memory and I am reminded. More than the pin pin boys on flashy motorcycles dodging in and out of […]

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Linnea Ashley on February 15th, 2010

I thought he’d forgotten. I languished beneath my mosquito net half reading a poorly written novel but mostly succumbing to the brutal heat still lingering in the late afternoon.My morning had been fruitful. My lift into town dropped me far away from the Catholic compound- barely in the city limits. On the side of the […]

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Linnea Ashley on February 1st, 2010

“how old is he?”The he in question was toddling about, intermittently crying for no particular reason and grinning at me from behind his cohort Samuel.“he is two.”“and…?” I pointed at Samuel.“he is 18 months. Breastfed,” my neighbor said pointing at Samuel, “not breast fed,” she declared of the other one.I’m not sure what made me […]

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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 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

“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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