Saturday, February 7, 2009

Continued Memories and Observations

As an outsider, observing the political process as it played out in upcountry Sierra Leone was interesting, but emphasis must be on the fact that I was an outsider who was never really privy to the real workings of what was going on. It was clear in those days that there was an undercurrent of unhappiness as the SLPP and the APC went through their political dance. The APC led by Siaka Stevens was in control of the government and there were a number of opposition who were in Pademba Rd Prison.  The loyalists opposition SLPP members in our area grumbled but did this with care. Politics could be mean and unfair and most of my friends knew this. From time to time anger might be expressed in my presence directed  against Mr. Stevens or his APC members but this was always done with care.  Those who I knew best and were at a level of accomplishment that allowed for political discourse were perhaps the leaders of underground opposition. However I was kept out of any loop of meaningful discourse.  Things happened and sometimes there was violence but for good reason - Peace Corps volunteers remained neutral, this despite our close associations with those who in their secret and less public life were intimately involved with the occasional havoc.  As PCVs we knew better than to get involved.  And luckily in those days, and despite occasional conflict , we never felt at risk.  [written in New York City]

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