(click to enlarge)
Wikipedia gives an
of Sierra Leone; early governance by tribal groups, visitation by
Portugese, Dutch, French and English traders, and, interestingly,
perversion of a minor, cultural tradition of protective, voluntary
"dependence" into the quite-different practice of European and American
commonly-spoken Krio language is a mixture of English, native, and other
languages. The Krio language is
closely related to the
Gullah dialect which is spoken in some areas of the coastal lowlands
and a few islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia
in the USA.
More recently, Sierra Leone was torn by a
that was funded by the sale of "blood diamonds".
Vicious, terroristic amputations of arms and legs were
perpetrated by warring factions, and amputees from the civil war era can
still be seen along the coast road south of Freetown.
Since the end of
the civil war in 2002, the country has been struggling to emerge from
its listing near the bottom of the UN's list of "least
government has been a major barrier to reconstruction, and the present
government has made the elimination of official corruption a primary
(roads, wharves, water distribution systems, buildings, streets, etc.)
is in dire need of upkeep.
The per capital income has been estimated as low as $200 US dollars, and
is presently estimated at approximately $800 US dollars per year.
The national currency is the Leone; exchange rate is
approximately 4,400 Leones to one US dollar.
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