Well, it’s WAY past my usual bedtime for a week night. I’ve been lost in the pages of personal essays written by Liberian writers about people who have been important to them, people who have inspired them in some way. Each day I am here in Liberia, I learn more about the remarkable people I am working with – how they keep their clothes so neatly pressed, for example, without electricity in their homes. And these essays reveal to me even more. Those that pay tribute to someone who raised them and protected them during the years of civil strife – a mother, a grandmother, a foster father – tell much about personal lives, the country’s history, and what the people value, and I feel privileged to be getting these insights. (I’m sorry if that sounds like a cliche; it is true.)
Essays have been written about more public figures too, and it will be exciting to see how all these essays will be pulled together to form an anthology of “personal heroes“. I will meet with Woryonwon tomorrow to discuss some of the challenges to accomplishing this, and how they might be met.
I had better get myself to bed, so I will be up for it. And for whatever new stories and surprises the writers may bring to the workshop table.