I have been doing a lot of thinking about my research interests and my theoretical understandings of the world. I came to Penn State with this view of the world that I had developed over time through studying anthropology and conflict, working in educational contexts (mostly university settings, all formal, all admittedly in the western […]
Read more "Theory Rant"
In my travels, invariably, I met the disgruntled American expat who believed, without a doubt, that life was more efficient in the United States. I commiserated with this person. I scorned this person. I was this person. There’s a little part of me that thought, “oh, I’m not like that, I’m an anthropologist, I take […]
Read more "To-do-To-day: … Read 200 pages"
This week in my life I had a lot of small frustrations at work and large successes out of work, running my first public 5k ever. This week in my home country, I looked on as a film played out, the stars being the SWAT teams and individuals in the Boston area searching for some […]
Read more "This Week"
So, I’ve been trying to think of how to blog about this new transition. It’s hard because I’m surrounded by so many Afghanistan experts, from natives to long-term expats to know-it-all short term expats. Sparks, who often instigates blog posts from me when I feel social pressure to avoid it, asked me to write about […]
Read more "Surprising things about Kabul*"
So the program was disappointing because: It was held inside with limited space. Many of the VIP’s were not Liberian so most of the awaiting crowd could not participate and see their president. There was no space for questions. The Paramount Chief (chief of chiefs), was very old and said some things about women’s empowerment […]
Read more "The Independence Day Program"
Or the Bush Devil, country devil, dancer*, guy/girl in funny costume, etc. This one was from one of the tribes on the coast. Every tribe in Liberia has some version of the Bush Devil, some are more commonly seen in public, like on this occasion. Some, like the Kpelle Bush Devil, are not seen by […]
Read more "What was interesting was the devil."
Both males and females are circumcised in traditional Liberian culture, during the Poro and the Sande initiation rites. Basically these schools (referred to as “bush schools) are the traditional way of educating youth on everything from cooking to participating in local governance. The Poro is for the boys and the Sande is for the girls, […]
Read more "The Poro and the Sande (and violence?)"
But still a white woman. Difficult to pull off, I know. The nurses who I chatted with weeks ago called me a Liberian Lady after I managed to mimic their dance moves with some success, and with my dance partner, I played the part quite well. I also bought two lappas, and was then corrected […]
Read more "A Liberian Lady now"
The language barrier is frustrating but getting better. Most of Liberian English is just dropping the last letter of every word and then running the words together in the sentence. But as I mentioned, there are also vowel changes. Sometimes I have no idea what words people are saying. Internet is pronounced entenet, mister is […]
Read more "On to language and development"