18 September 2006


I wrote a post, yesterday I think, which I then did not post. It was about money in Liberia and how there are two completely separate worlds when it comes to money. But then I didn't post it because I hate to have people think only of poverty when they think of Liberia. Of course, most people in Liberia don't have a lot of money. But they are not "poor people." I don't really believe in "poor people." When I took a French class in Kibuye, one of the first things we learned how to say was, "We are poor." Really? We are poor? We the most wealthy eight people in town who have English as our first language and make enough money to pay for these classes? I've had it with the word poor.

Liberia doesn't have a lot of money. Neither does a lot of the world. Things could be better. We are working on that (some of us).

In the meantime, I miss Liberia more than I can say. Things were fairly unstable there right before I left and continue so, but I had a very hard time feeling unsafe. I stood at the balcony of our office one day with a colleague and we looked down at the street and a group of five or six little girls came by, carrying buckets of water and various other things and laughing and dancing the way kids do. I tried to explain that overused expression, "A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on." I've never liked that expression, but somehow it felt more true, watching these kids in a country barely free - tentatively free - precariously free of war. If they can laugh and play, maybe there is hope for the rest of us.

There is hope for the rest of us.

1 comment:

traci said...

here, here, to a great post. what does it mean to be poor? who is poor? because the more i think about it, the more i think money makes some people damn poor.

it's freaking me out that, indeed, i'm going back to a country at war, in 24 hours i'll be there. wowsers.