Since the dawn of time, man has looked on the world and wondered: When is the appropriate time to conclude a blog about Liberia? Today, I am proud to announce that I have uncovered Truths and have the Answer. It took me some time to conduct my research, hence why this blog has been private for some time, the password only beknownst to me, and even then not really knownst to me at all, but then I remembered the answer to my security question and then it was knownst. I would like to say that during the time that the blog was closed to the public that I was secretly staffing it with Oompa Loompas and am now prepared to stuff fat kids down pipes, but that is not the case. No, I have been diligently uncovering Truths and have the Answer. You ready?
The appropriate time to conclude a blog about Liberia is five and a half months after one has left Liberia, having in the interim consumed a lot of chocolate in Brussels and burritos along the eastern seaboard, deflecting comments from friends about the status of your Liberia blog, and eventually finding oneself working in Juba, Sudan.
And, friends! I am both elated and saddened to inform you that after uncovering these Truths and the Answer I embarked on that very journey! Down to the very last detail. I couldn’t take any risks.
On one hand, I felt a sort of personal triumph that I had so meticulously done exactly what was needed to conclude a blog about Liberia, but as I neared the end of the process I began to feel a heavy heart. I knew that the end was near. I felt like a kamikaze pilot checking his fuel gauge. Or like an audience member at an Akon concert.
And now I feel somber. I started this blog as a way to write something creative, keep sane, and deflect e-mails about ‘how things are going in Liberia’. I called it Journey Without Maps because it was the title of a travelogue on Liberia, and in many ways I felt that I was metaphorically (cringe) journeying without a map in Liberia. It was heartwarming to see the reaction it received from friends, family, and complete strangers who e-mailed (and the New Democrat paper who reprinted my last post….what?).
I still maintain that it’s not really a blog “About” Liberia – just snippets from relayable portions of my time in the land of liberty that can be funny. My fear of flying, my juice extractor, and my blind obedience to repetitive songlists don’t really tell you anything important about Liberia. I think that’s the way it should be. If you want to know “about” Liberia, I think you need to experience it yourself. Even then I’m not sure what you’ll know about Liberia. You sure will know how you feel!
And so, firmly ensconced in Juba, burritos and chocolate but memories and occasional chest pains – and honestly not knowing if I should even end with a post – it is time to face the unfortunate Truths and an unsatisfying Answer. When I was leaving my office, my colleague Pewee said that I might be able to “leave” Liberia, but I will never be able to really “leaaaaaaaaave” Liberia. And I don’t think I will.
Thanks for reading!