“We go see ya” is Sierra Leoneon Krio for goodbye.
Ladies and gents, today I’m headed home to Mother Africa, Sierra Leone to be exact. For the next nine days, I’ll be soaking up the hot African sun in Sierra Leone with my good friend Isaiah Washington.
Before there was a “Grey’s Anatomy,” actor Isaiah Washington had his DNA tested through African Ancestry at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival, of which I am a part of. Isaiah discovered he was from the Mende tribe of Sierra Leone and has spent the last several years providing humanitarian efforts to the people of Sierra Leone, his people. He is the executive director and founder of Gondobay Mango Foundation, which advocates cooperative planning, one village at a time in Sierra Leone, to achieve immediate improvements in the lives of the people.
While America was hollering and calling for his removal from “Grey’s Anatomy” for calling one of his fellow co-stars a faggot (which to this day I have never seen actual proof of) , Isaiah was busy doing his thing in Africa where people have far more to worry about than who called who a name and trying to get someone fired. Somehow running water, electricity, medicine, and food seem to be a bit more important in the scheme of things. Ya feel me? And anyways, Isaiah is way to conscious to be sucked into all of that madness. Ya’ll just don’t know.
Anyway, his latest project is a new school for local children in a rural village and we’re headed to Sierra Leone to check on its progress.
While this is not Isaiah’s first trip to Sierra Leone, it is mine and I can tell you I’m both nervous and excited. Nervous at the idea of having to be on a plane for the length of time it’s going to take to get over there and excited to be going home to Africa. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime I will tell you, because Isaiah didn’t have to take me with him. Which again goes to show the kind of person that he is and that he can see through the bullshit.
And while I know most people reading this are going to be happy for me, there are always the haters with no life that are probably saying at this exact moment “that bitch!” Yeah, well that bitch is headed home to Africa and could care less about you.
So with that said, this site is officially on hiatus until I return. If I feel like blogging from Sierra Leone, I will. If I don’t, I won’t. It’s not every day you’re in Africa and so I plan to do and see as much as I can.
We’re traveling with Isaiah’s documentary film crew so there will be footage from the trip and I am taking my digital camera and a mini disc to record sound for my new podcast coming your way thanks to here! Television Networks, so you can check for it in a couple of weeks.
I’ll be back in business around Monday, June 4th, but don’t quote me on it, it all depends on how I am feeling when I get back. Unfortunately, because people don’t know how to share what’s on their mind without resorting to racial slurs and death threats, and since I won’t be here to monitor the comments on my site, I am disabling comments from being posted left until I get back. You can submit a comment, but it won’t post until I get a chance to approve it. Sorry, but well, you know how it is.
Many thanks to Isaiah for including me on this trip and forever changing my life and to my extended family the Pan African Film and Arts Festival for opening my eyes 7 years ago to what really was important and making a critical thinker out of me. And of course a big thank you to my boss for letting me take my vacation and to all of my family and friends for giving me a great send off. Love you and see you soon.
We Go See Ya!
ABOUT SIERRA LEONE
Sierra Leone, in West Africa, emerged from a decade of civil war in 2002, with the help of Britain, the former colonial power, and a large United Nations peacekeeping mission.
More than 17,000 foreign troops disarmed tens of thousands of rebels and militia fighters. The country now faces the challenge of reconstruction.
A lasting feature of the war, which left some 50,000 dead, was the atrocities committed by the rebels, whose trademark was to hack off the hands of their victims.
Legacy of war: Countless people lost limbs to the rebels
A UN-backed war crimes court has been set up to try those, from both sides, who bear the greatest responsibility for the brutalities.
But the problems of poverty, tribal rivalry and official corruption that caused the war are far from over.
The 70,000 former combatants who were disarmed and rehabilitated after the war have swollen the ranks of the many young people seeking employment.
Sierra Leone is rich in diamonds. The trade in illicit gems, known as "blood diamonds" for their role in funding conflicts, perpetuated the civil war. The government has attempted to crack down on cross-border diamond trafficking.
Diamond exports, and the exploitation of mineral reserves, have helped to bouy the post-conflict economy.
Sierra Leone has a special significance in the history of the transatlantic slave trade. It was the departure point for thousands of west African captives. The capital, Freetown, was founded as a home for repatriated former slaves in 1787.
Full name: Republic of Sierra Leone
Population: 5.3 million (UN, 2005)
Area: 71,740 sq km (27,699 sq miles)
Major languages: English, Krio (Creole language derived from English) and a range of African languages
Major religions: Islam, indigenous beliefs, Christianity
Life expectancy: 39 years (men), 42 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 Leone = 100 cents
Main exports: Diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish
GNI per capita: US $220 (World Bank, 2006)
Internet domain: .sl
International dialling code: +232