The Indispensable Escapes: The Experiences of a Refugee

Photo Credit: Maria Runggeary, 2012

Photo Credit: Maria Runggeary, 2012

You are reading this brief disclosure because of your interests in refugees and displaced persons. No one wants to be a refugee! It is a very painful life mostly fill with lots of sufferings. So, we should continue to embrace those who are refugees and other displaced population not because we feel sorry for them, but because they are humans like ourselves with emotions, hearts, souls and spirits, desires of belonging and to call a place “home.”  Thus, we should continue to give our best to those in need, because the moment we stop doing that we miss the meaning  of humanity. It is our responsibility (believe it or not) to take care of each other in times of needs, wars and conflicts.

It is my desire and goal to keep creating awareness and education of refugees’ issues globally, but local first. In this process, it takes me great pleasure to announce today that I am almost done with the manuscript of a book based on my experiences as a refugee and those of my siblings as I reflect and recapture the many episodes of escapes from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast and eventually settling in the United States.

I have tried on several occasions to avoid reflecting on my experiences and those of my siblings as we escaped together, but the desire to narrate this story with the goal of helping others learn from what we went through to help with their own stories of whatever they are going through in their own lives continue to upset me why I have delay this for so long. I started writing few months ago, sometimes staying up too late to make sure that this book is ready to come out in later part of 2017.

It is with great pleasure that I would like to announced that the table of contents, which I think best described every segment of the text is now out published here. I hope in the next few months that the remaining chapters can be completed and release to potential individuals who have contacted me with interest to help proof read the initial manuscript.

If you are interested to be one of the reviewers (which is voluntary by the way), please feel free to contact me and I will include you on my send list when the final manuscript is ready for reviewers to read and make their comments. All reviewers’ contribution to the final text will be duly acknowledged.

The Indispensable Escapes: The Experiences of a Refugee

Book Chapters

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Prior to the War: The Days Before Christmas

Chapter 3. 1st Escape: The Beginning of Life on the Run

Chapter 4. The Flight from Cape Palmas, Maryland

Chapter 5. Life at 5th Street Sinkor, Monrovia

Chapter 6. 2nd Escape: Monrovia – The Ball of Fire

Chapter 7. 3rd Escape: Providence & the Ghost of Bodies

Chapter 8. 4th Escape: The Thousands Unforgotten Steps

Chapter 9. Bomi Hills: Life in a Rebel-held Zone

Chapter 10. 5th Escape: Almost Dead at Midnight

Chapter 11. 6th Escape: The Bravery of a Sister

Chapter 12. 7th Escape: Exit from Bo to Kenema, Sierra Leone

Chapter 13. 8th Escape: The Frozen Exit from Sierra Leone

Chapter 14. The Tai Massacre: Neighbor Became Executional

Chapter 15. 9th Escape: The Light of Ghana

Chapter 16. Life at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana

Chapter 17. Resettlement to the United States of America

Enhancing Productivity and Livelihoods among Smallholder Irrigators through Biochar and Fertilizer Amendments at Ekxang Village, Vientiane Province, Lao PDR






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Title Enhancing Productivity and Livelihoods among Smallholder Irrigators through Biochar and Fertilizer Amendments at Ekxang Village, Vientiane Province, Lao PDR
Publication Type Conference Paper
Year of Publication 2015
Authors Macedo, J.Souvanhnachit M.Rattanavong S.Maokhamphiou B.Sotoukee T.Pavelic P.Sarkis M., and Downs T.
Conference Name Climate-Smart Agriculture Conference
Abstract Climate change and climate variability pose significant risks to smallholders in the rainfed lowlands of Lao PDR. Increased surface temperatures, declining rainfall, persistent drought and depleting soil nutrients all serve to impact agricultural productivity and livelihoods. This study investigates the impact of five treatments on soil nutrients, moisture, plant growth, and yield of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica). The treatments tested were rice husk biochar only, biochar inoculated with manure, manure tea, inorganic fertilizer and the control. The costs and benefits of the treatments were also assessed. The randomized complete block design was used to assign five treatments and eight replications to the experimental units. Biochar was produced through slow pyrolysis. Soil physical properties were assessed with the visual soil assessment method and 15-randomized soil samples were collected for chemical analyses. Sprinklers were used for irrigation and a weather station installed to monitor the climate. Descriptive statistics and analysis of variance were used to analyze the data. Costs-benefits evaluation of the treatments was conducted to determine the net benefits relative to the initial costs ratio. The analysis of variance of mean yield indicates that the difference in yield among the treatments was highly significant. The computed F value (8.08) was higher than the tabular F value (4.07) at the 1% level of significance. The calculated coefficient of variance of mean yield was 17.33%. The net benefits to initial costs ratio of treatments suggest that the control (5.84), biochar inoculated with manure plus NPK (0.93), and biochar plus manure (0.87) are most preferred. The net benefits and initial costs evaluation of treatments is important to assess whether utilizing these treatments would impact smallholders’ livelihoods. The results of this study contribute to the evidence that biochar could play an essential role to mitigate climate change risks by enhancing soil quality and increase agricultural productivity.

Biochar Production Using the Traditional Earth-mound Slow Pyrolysis System with Rice Husk

The following images are from a field research held in Ekxang village of Vientiane Province, Lao PDR from December 2013 to July 2, 2014 funded by the Center for Global Food Security at Purdue University with grant money provided by the United States Agency of International Development and administered by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center supervised under the directives of the International Water Management Institute in Lao PDR and in collaboration with faculty and staff at the Department of Engineering in Water Resources at the National University of Lao PDR, local level governmental authorities and smallholder farmers in Ekxang village,IMG_0867 Vientiane Province, Laos. IMG_0715 IMG_0716 IMG_0717IMG_0719 IMG_0720 IMG_0721 IMG_20140320_162801 IMG_20140320_162806 IMG_0728 IMG_0729 IMG_0730 IMG_0731 IMG_0732 IMG_0733 IMG_0737 IMG_0738 IMG_0741 IMG_0742 IMG_0743 IMG_0744 IMG_0739IMG_0737 2014-03-21 14.41.26 2014-04-09 13.57.18 2014-04-09 14.01.46 2014-04-11 11.04.14 2014-04-09 13.57.03 2014-03-21 14.41.322014-03-30 14.44.27IMG_0867

“Land Reforms, Sustainable Agriculture and Water Resources in the Presence of Climate Change: A Critical Analysis for Policymakers and Development Practitioners in Lao PDR.”

A Supplementary Research Paper.

Brief Note

Over the past several decades, the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has instituted several policy reforms in hope of attracting investors and development organizations with the aim of working with national partners and other stakeholders to address the effects of climate change and the sustainable use of land, water and agricultural resources for sustainable development. Lao PDR stands at the hub of natural resources along with its competitive neighbors within the region, namely: China, Viet Nam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar. The development and implementation of policies geared towards the sustainable use of agricultural resources, lands and water driven by sound research is the hallmark for transitioning from a Least Developed Country (LCD) to a prospective developing country, a state that the current government of Lao PDR seeks to overcome with several policy reforms. This paper seeks to provide a critical analysis of the current state of policy reforms in land, water and agricultural resources in Lao PDR with the aim of providing quality information to policymakers and development practitioners that are involved in natural resources management and how to address the negative environmental impacts of climate change. The paper builds on extensive secondary research, which include published academic papers, government policies as well as technical reports, gray literature and project documents released by development organizations and research institutions. The overall goal of this paper is to critically outline and provide constructive recommendations of what have been formulated in terms of policy reforms, their social and environmental implications, if any, successes, failures and how these policies drive the fight against climate change in Lao PDR to protect and conserve agricultural resources, land, and water for sustainable development.

Today at the field as we prepare to harvest next week.

Morning Glory [Pak Bong (Lao)] Regrowth

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