“We are all stories, in the end.” – Steven Moffat

The Sierra Leonean concept of time in the Krio language

Although similar to English, the meaning of some words is fundamentally different in Sierra Leone Krio. It took me some time and quite many disappointments to accept that even though we use the same words, we are talking about different things. And still, I fall for it every now and then.


/ˈnau̇/ adverb
Defintion: anytime between 30 minutes from now, until tomorrow, next month or even never.
Synonyms: Eventually, maybe, l... Read more

Life in quarantine: 21 days of fear

It was not easy to get together with Solomon Samura for an interview. Not because I first to had build up his trust or because he did not want to talk to me - no, Solomon is always busy. So busy that it is hard to talk to him for more than the length of short phone talk. Fifteen-hour days are rather the norm than the exception for him. His bustle, his commitment and that one can not tell from looking at him how busy he is are probably his most defining characteristics. And yet, this text is not ... Read more

The life after Ebola

It was a rainy day in August, a day like any other day for Mohamed Conteh, 42. He drove a poda poda, a minibus, transporting passengers from Freetown to his home town Makeni, when the passenger sitting next to him on the front seat started vomiting. Most of his vomits landed on Mohamed. The Ebola virus disease had just started spreading in his area. Mohamed knew that the disease was transmitted through body fluids and that if his passenger was suffering from Ebola, it was likely he might have be... Read more

On a perilious journey to Europe

More than 87,000 people entered Italy by boat in the first seven months of 2014. A high number, it equals approximately the number of inhabitants of the German city of Schwerin. An abstract number that one can easily get upset about. A high number – incredibly high – of people that left their home countries via sea.

Sometimes, on TV or on photos, we see a few of the faces that belong to these numbers. For a few seconds, their facial expressions, their gazes allow us to perce... Read more