A sign that something may be wrong with the international presence in Liberia

“How long are you here this time?” is a question I get asked most meetings.

I’m a little embarrassed to say. Just 16 days. As a researcher, what can you accomplish in two weeks (and change)? You barely have time to get out of the capital. Or get your head around anything but the most superficial economics and politics. Make a meaningful discovery? Dispense policy advice? Hardly. Granted, I’m here just to set up and design a project—a prelude to a longer stay and investigation.

Even so, the universal answer so far? “Oh!” they say, with evident surprise and pleasure, “so you came for a long visit!”

Something tells me the world may not be offering the most insightful technical assistance and advice…