This is one point that I’ve found I cannot and will not budge for cultural relativism. It’s a question of quality of life as well as health and individual autonomy. To take away someone’s sexual pleasure simply because of their gender is to deny them something that is inherent to all people. It is a […]Read more "Speaking of FGM…"
Was the second week of the adult literacy facilitators workshop. We talked about female circumcision and I learned more about the Poro and the Sande (they aren’t as secretive as other anthropologists suggest, outsiders just aren’t welcome to the ceremonies or compound, and even then, I think I could attend the graduation ceremonies if I […]Read more "This week (July 12 – 17)"
How much of my role in Liberia is to change cultural norms? I’m an anthropologist, right? But I believe there is a role of an outsider to ask why certain things are done and if there is no good answer, to continue asking why. For instance, women do the rice farming here (the staple food […]Read more "Which leads me to another rant."
I have been helping to facilitate and write the report of the adult literacy facilitators workshop. I talked about human rights today and bored and confused my audience. Many of the participants live in rural communities and all of them are from the interior. I’ve found that the longer a Liberian lives in the interior, […]Read more "Updates on DELTA and my part"
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"
When talking about advocacy, I get serious. In fact, I’ve been getting a little too serious in general these past few days. It doesn’t help that last week I got sick and had a feverish feeling that part of my body had become the LURD fighters and was invading another part. Yeah. I’ve been reading […]Read more "Obviously, I agree"
Last week I attended the first phase of DEN-L’s DELTA training. The program is based off of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and a series of training workbooks by Sally Timmel and Anne Hope called Training for Transformation. The authors came out of apartheid in South Africa and began their DELTA trainings in the […]Read more "DELTA Training:"
Well, not really. But a chimp nonetheless. And she was for sale. I was tempted, disregarding the ethical problems of trading in endangered species. They were going to have a meeting to decide how much to charge for the animal. Chimps seem to be household pets here, as well as monkeys. I think they’re even […]Read more "Bonobo!"
A foray into peacebuilding. Which is sadly not my expertise. The meeting reminded me of my organizing days, except there was more attendance and enthusiasm. But the discussion winded around a celebration of the now peaceful relationship between the two groups. The disagreement was over history and land. The two groups fought bitterly during the […]Read more "The Meeting"
The roads in Liberia, or at least Bong and Lofa county are…abysmal? Not the right word, but by western standards, yeah, they’re pretty awful. Again ingenious humans strike again. Not only do drivers mysteriously know where the worst pot holes are and cleverly avoid them, there’s one lane. One lane that weaves from side to […]Read more "On the road again…"