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Steve, the mischief-maker

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By Carolyn

January 30, 2017

"Ow di bodi, padi?"

 

As Steve enjoyed chatting with regular café customers, I had a number of conversations with him over the years, generally starting with the standard greetings in Krio, the official language of Sierra Leone where he had been a Peace Corps volunteer in his younger years. Steve had been stationed in an agricultural area in the north where he worked with local farmers on setting up rice paddies in the swamp land. In his spare time he hung around with the village children who delighted in helping him improve his language skills. So when my seven year old stepson would come to the café, Steve delighted in conversation with him in Krio and laughed to see Umar's puzzlement at this "oporto" speaking his language. Umar, meanwhile, delighted in having Steve and Rita come to see him perform at the 50th anniversary of Sierra Leone's independence several years ago and still talks of this. I do believe that Steve's legacy lives on in the farmers' fields in Sierra Leone. He is missed.

 

Carolyn van Gurp

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