Borrow your treasure

Where shall I begin?

I took this photograph in Brighton, England in midwinter 2012.

So much has happened since that day.

Mercury has gone retrograde

The Olympics is on…

I started my Olympic scrapbook way back when…

before the internet

before instant messaging

and availability 24/7.

I’m humbled

by my birth certificate that says

I’m 47.

Instinctively I feel

my days are numbered.

I may not register any moment

beyond this

word.

Where is Peace?

English: A school in Koindu damaged during the...
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Koidu, Sierra Leone. The main road through the...
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An illustration of liberated slaves arriving i...
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English: Second graders in a primary school af...
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Sierra Leone 555-9578 2
Image by benzpics63 via Flickr
Sierra Leone_Kissy Town 2
Image by benzpics63 via Flickr
English: A class in a newly rebuilt secondary ...
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English: Alluvial diamond miners in Kono Distr...
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A radio listener in rural Kailahun Sierra Leone.
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English: Street in Kenema, Sierra Leone.
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Satellite image of Sierra Leone
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English: Map of Sierra Leone Español: Mapa de ...
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English: The opening of Kailahun Government Ho...
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Freetown (Sierra Leona)
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Sierra  Leone  1982
Image by Brian Harrington Spier via Flickr
Sierra Leone-9600
Image by benzpics63 via Flickr
Sierra Leone-9567
Image by benzpics63 via Flickr

I struggled to make sense of the world in which I lived until I went to Sierra Leone to work for peace.

TEDxDirigo – Libby Hoffman – Forgiving the Unforgiveable – YouTube

TEDxDirigo – Libby Hoffman – Forgiving the Unforgiveable
– YouTube
.

I just saw a screening tonight at the Foto8 gallery in London of a new documentary film about Sierra Leone called Fambul Tok (“family talk” in Krio). This film is the blueprint of how to document sustainable peace in post-conflict Sierra Leone.

The question I’ve been asking myself over the past year is: How does Sierra Leone find her new voice?

This wonderful new film Fambul Tok is the first film I’ve seen about Sierra Leone that begins to answer this question in a profound and positive way. This film is a masterclass in non-violent conflict resolution.

Stay blessed.

Michele

How The Other Half Loves…

The Polio Victims Association Home in Grafton, near Freetown, Sierra Leone. June, 2011.

On June 13, 2011, I visited The Polio Victims Association Home in connection with my work for The Peace Project.

Polio respects no boundaries. In Sierra Leone, the bombing of all hospitals and health facilities and the evacuation of aid workers during the nineties meant that polio vaccinations were interrupted and polio spread rapidly during this time.

Polio has been eradicated in the UK since 1982. Yet poverty and war continue to perpetuate this easily preventable yet cruel disease in Sierra Leone. There are thousands of polio stricken disabled people in Sierra Leone. Some of the youngest in the country are housed at the Grafton Home for Polio Orphans.

In Sierra Leone polio is considered to be a curse and the women who bears a polio child is cast out on the streets and the child is taken into the forest to have a ceremony conducted to rid the child of the demon. Often the child is left to die, or abandoned in the streets, or brought to orphanages. A child born with polio is considered to be of less worth than a dog and disabled people in general are frequently beaten and harassed for no reason except for their disability. Polio orphaned children are the most vulnerable people in this poor country.
(Source: International Foundation for Disabled Orphans)

Walking past London’s Harrods store on June 15, 2011 and seeing this window display for Veuve Clicquot.

Veuve Clicquot is opening its first champagne bar and boutique at London’s Harrods store.

The Veuve Clicquot boutique is located on the first floor alongside international luxury fashion labels. There is also a lounge area with gray and yellow tones and glass topped tables for a more quiet place to contemplate money spent. The Boutique also offers the latest Veuve Clicquot gifts, such as the new Ice Jacket and Traveller and other stylish champagne accessories, sold exclusively through Harrods.
(Source: Luxuo, Luxury Blog)

On June 14, 2011, I travelled from Sierra Leone to London. In the space of 48 hours, I received my greatest lesson in How The Other Half Loves… The gap between rich and poor. The spectrum of having and not having… The distance we need to travel.