Riding through the midnight, moonlit, tree-canopied, winding, back road from Bumban through night-time smells of warm dust and orange blossoms, disturbing rafts of large bats that flew alongside the bike and snuffling long-tailed “digging-ground” rodents that scurried out of the path of our light, after dancing under the moonlight with young and old from the village and sitting on the stoop listening to the intriguing life story of new friends (mother of the eight year old girl who silently attached herself to us on the drying rice floor until we found someone able to lead us by torchlight to her home) makes me wonder why anyone would choose to live in Canada (or Makeni or Freetown, actually) if given the opportunity of staying here. Before leaving
More on the
I continue to also collect more examples or instances of incredible peace-making skills in practice at many levels in the village here (from among groups of two and thee-year olds negotiating food sharing around a communal plate to community and intricate inter-chiefdom meetings to address current pressing issues to peace initiatives by reintegrated former child conscripts). Yesterday’s foray to the chiefdom riverside “outing” attended by thousands from as far as Freetown reinforced my sense it’s the early socialization that children receive at the village level that really generates excellent peace-making skills (the stone and sticks used to smack heads were wielded by town folk and all the reports of school violence I hear come out of the towns and city). And forgiveness… I am constantly in awe of people’s ability here to forgive and move on after an injustice has been done. Possibly this also stems from the work that’s done daily on mediation and reconciliation. The world has much to learn from life in this village. Tonight the teachers in our computer class are all quietly in different corners reflecting on and writing about their experiences in school, to share with Canadian teachers via the wiki (a collectively constructed kind of web page). It will be quite interesting to read about the range of experiences represented here (from community to
And very interesting for me to attend my first wedding in the village. In two weeks time, my good friend in
Photos: Scenes from map-making...construction in the village and crossing one of the many hazardous bridges.