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11/26/2004
one-on-one meetings
Yesterday I had six seperate one-on-one meetings with people in my
team. On past trips I lodged either in Accra or in Winneba, each
about an hour from the camp. That meant I was the one on the move
every day to meet people and if they weren't around, I was just left
waiting a lot. This time I'm staying in Kasoa, much closer to the
camp so I scheduled these 6 meetings at my hotel at 2 hour intervals
(10am, noon, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm) so that we'd have plenty of time
for each one, even if people were late. I saw Alvin, Boimah, Oretha,
Benjamin, Prince and Sampson.

My main questions for these meetings were these:

1. How do you see your future? How and when will you leave this
camp? Where will you go? What do you need to do in the meantime or
to make this happen?

To get some context on possible answers, they range in time on the
camp from 2 14 years and since my last visit, two of them have
departed (obviously not any of the 6 I met with), one for Minnesota on
refugee status and one to Liberia to put everything in place for a
move to the US on a Diversity Visa that he won in the annual lottery.

Answers ranged from, "I'm leaving as soon as my current schooling is
finished, by June 2005 at the latest," to "I will go when my name is
called for the voluntary repatriation," (going on now, but very, very
slowly) to "Because of my family's connections it is not safe for me
to go back until everything changes quite a bit in Liberia so I will
be the last one to leave this camp," to "I am working with my
relatives in the US to find any means possible to get a visa."

Does anyone reading this know anything about this process? Is there
anything that I could be doing to help organize the Liberians that are
already in the US to help their relatives if that's what they want to
do?

2. What's happening with your humanist team? What do you need help with?

After Sampson sent me his team's information about their clean-up
campaigns and need for tools of their own, people responded very
quickly to raise money for this purpose. Now the other teams are more
motivated to communicate with me about their own projects and what
help they also need. I will be posting answers when I get them from
the teams, hopefully with photos as well.

Tomorrow I will get up early and join Sampson's clean-up campaign in
progress around 8am (they will start by 6:30). We'll then finish up
by about 10 or so and have a meeting where we can go over receipts and
finances and plans for the future.

categories: Ghana Africa Humanist Movement