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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

So near yet so far......

As a savvy internet user in Singapore, it is imperative that you fill up forms that have ubiquitous drop-down menus.

You are asked for 'Place of Residence' or 'Country of Citizenship'.

You scroll down to 'Singapore' and click on the option.

And most likely, you would have seen 'Sierra Leone' just above 'Singapore' in the drop-down menu.

You see the word 'Sierra Leone' ever so often when you sign up on new websites, fill up job search forms, apply for memberships, join online contests, take part in online surveys, register for races, etc.

Sierra Leone is that close to Singapore - at least on the internet.

But how much do you know about it? How many Singaporeans actually bother to find out about Sierra Leone?

How much do I know about Sierra Leone?

I have read about Sierra Leone in the news. Well, actually just some split-second glances at the obscure headlines in the middle pages of newspapers, quickly telling me that there's 'some civil unrests and poverty in Sierra Leone' - the usual political saga in the African subcontinent.

But that's about it. I did not take interest in it.

Until 'A Long Way Gone' and 'Blood Diamond'. And then I found out interesting things about Sierra Leone: Lion Mountains.

One party government, Rebels (RUF), child soldiers, diamond mining (conflict diamonds), Capital of Freetown. Incidentally (or perhaps ironically), Freetown was founded as a place to bring enslaved African blacks home to Africa from Europe and America as early as the 1700s!

There's so much to read about Sierra Leone. Almost like the tale of two cities - Singapore and Sierra Leone. So near, yet so far......

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