Monday, December 1, 2008

Remembering John F. Kennedy in Sierra Leone

One of the most prominent buildings on the skyline overlooking the capitol of Freetown is an eight-story building on the Fourah Bay College campus, a campus beautifully situated on a mountain ridge at the edge of the city. It was built with U.S. funding some 40 years ago and named after the late President. His bust appears in a small patio just outside the structure. But over the years the building became run down. Recently the building was rededicated after the U.S. government paid for its renovation. After the ceremony, we got to the second floor for a reception. The Department of Social Sciences and Law which I teach in is supposed to occupy the building.

But there’s a catch. There’s no furniture or functioning elevator in the building. So far none of the officials on campus I’ve spoken with know what the plan is to furnish the building. And no one mentions any contract to get the elevator operating. Let’s hope both these issues are addressed. More on this later, I hope.

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