Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Through her eyes - Meet Aliesha Intro - Conclusion

 When I graduated from college my mom suggested I accompany my step dad to Guinea-Bissau while he started working on the 300 hectare ranch he inherited from his father (who was one of the first Guineans to be a cornel for the Portuguese in the colonial Era).  I looked at the job market for recent grads and I realized it was going to be tough luck, so I decided to go for it!

I remember exactly what my dad said when I told him I’d be going to Bissau.  His response was, “Why? There is nothing there. Come with me to Mauritania instead and you can travel down to Bissau if you want from there.”   I was surprised by his response, but once I had committed to the decision to come here, it began to feel so right! It felt like something I needed to do.

Aliesha & friends @ Guinea Bissau Carnival 2013
So here I am today, 9 months later, and I’m still in Bissau.  Did I think I would still be here after 9 months? Heavens no!  But after 4 or 5 months of being here, I decided I wanted and needed to stay a little longer.  I’ve been blessed with several opportunities to travel out of the US, and I realize that there are lessons and teachings you take away from every place. I had already learned a lot here, but I class wasn’t over yet.

Now I work for a solar power company called Suntrough Energy that has a partnership with the Bissau-Guinean Government. The solar project will provide a total of 20 Megawatts of power for the entire country (current energy production is only 5 Megawatts).  Lack of consistent energy is such a debilitating problem for the country, so this project has become the countries top priority.

Working for this project has supported my stay, and most importantly provided me with many opportunities to learn, grow and experience a different side of Bissau. I started my experience here with week long trips to islands and villages in the far ends of the country. Now I’m attending meetings with the Minister of Energy and working alongside many professionals and government officials. Each day is a new lesson, a new struggle, and a new adventure. I’ve been blogging about it all and I invite you to check it out at my blog:

Thank you Aliesha. We look forward to reading more about your journey!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your updates and efforts to help us see the country through your eyes.

Toni said...

How the world has changed since I graduated. I might have wanted to do such things, but no way could I imagine that it would be possible! I am glad to know that you are bridging with such dignity the chasm of differences between worlds, men and woman, religions, and everything else. I look forward to reading more from you.