King Harman Road Hosptial

It was a Monday morning, and I received a call from my community partner. She notified me that she has arranged for me to visit a hospital and gather data. I was beyond ecstatic. The hospital was King Harman Road, and King Harman Road became the first hospital I visited in Sierra Leone. King Harman is a government run hospital. I walked into King Harman Road, and immediately I was shocked.  I knew Sierra Leone is a third world country, and the hospital conditions were going to be bad, but King Harman Road still shocked me. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the hospital was the heat. The heat was so powerful that within a minute of entering the hospital, I was soaked in sweat. The next thing I noticed was the hospital lights were on. I later found out that most government hospitals in Freetown have 24 hours light. As I walked through the patient wards, I saw fans in each ward but none of them were on. I wondered to myself why they were not on. I went through the wards, hoping at least one patient will want to talk to me but none wanted to talk to me.  I was also forbidden by the hospital to take any pictures.

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Shelley’s “Ozymandias”

The past few weeks have been mostly just reading, from historical texts and documents to poems and literature, and making connections between them. The first of these came in the shower, the best place I find for coming up with ideas. I wasn’t even thinking of my project, when out of nowhere I realized the significance of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias.” During the first half of the nineteenth century, the British Museum believed that the only high art of ancient times was the work of the Greeks and Romans. Anything from the near East or Egypt was simply considered a historical artifact, and had no artistic value or merit. Shelley’s poem works to change that. He takes the carving of the pharaoh Ramesses II in the British Museum, and turns it into a piece of art, through the art of his verse. In this way, the poem becomes a reactionary and revolutionary piece against the older, conservative policies of the British Museum, which fits in nicely with Shelley’s own political beliefs.

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Libertad (“Liberty”)

I would like to dedicate these last couple of blog posts to sharing the stories of two incredible and courageous women that I had the privilege of meeting during our last 5 days in Spain.

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