As this is published, I will be probably flying over the Atlantic back to my home country of America.
I will miss Sierra Leone and my biggest regret is that I never reached my full potential here as a journalist. I owe an apology to my colleagues for that and I hope they can forgive me. I’m certain I will probably go down as the most unproductive intern this newspaper has had. Cheers for American laziness.
I was disillusioned when I first came. I wasn’t given much to do at Awoko and most of my days were spent staring at walls and reading books and socializing with my colleagues. Once I knew my way around downtown, I was rarely in the office. Among my petty American needs was an aching desire for Internet access, so I would spend a great portion of my day at Internet cafes just because I was addicted. The Internet is like cigarette. For many of my colleagues, it is unfathomable and probably ridiculous to spend so much time on the Internet as I do. Frankly, I agree. So to my friends at Awoko, I’m probably quite unfathomable and ridiculous and they must have a hoot talking about it behind my back.
Things didn’t start rolling until my halfway point in the beginning of August. I was attending interesting press conferences, ranging in topic from the Goods and Services Tax to drug trafficking to what was happening in the Kroo Bay and Dworzack slums. I wasn’t doing much in terms of writing – my colleagues were good enough already at that and they obviously had a bigger handle on the issues of their home country than I did. There was little I could contribute. Instead, I fell into the role of photographer for the paper since I possessed my own digital camera. It was a role I enjoyed very much.
I rarely showed up on time to meetings, mainly due to the fact that I was irritated because I wasn’t given much to do. There were times I should have been yelled at, but because I was spared the displeasure of being reprimanded because, essentially, everyone thought of me as a guest in this country. I honestly wish my editors could have yelled at me; it would have motivated me to actually put in an honest day’s work.
And now it’s too late and I feel like I have spent two months here with nothing to show for it. I didn’t save the world, I didn’t feed the hungry and I didn’t cure AIDs while I was here. I never intended to do such amazing things like that, but I really wish I could have.
Maybe next year’s intern will accomplish the things I was never able to.
Cheers to my new friends at Awoko and the beautiful country they live in. It was a wonderful experience that ended too soon.
By Judy Vue’s