Tribute To My Friend Mike Popowsky

Posted by Jeneba Project on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 Under: Articles

There are those who believe in you from the very first meeting. Mikie was not a professor and never had me as a regular student at Skidmore, but the man had such confidence in me that often made me wonder. He would sometimes text to encourage me to stay on the good path, and every now and then I quietly received a few bucks in the mail as donation to the Jeneba Project Inc., with an accompanying apology that it wasn’t a lot more. As a technician at Skidmore Media Services, he taught me almost everything I know about new media—patiently repeating the information to a novice who barely knew how to type.

Mikie was very proud of his Ukrainian heritage and I remember the light in his eyes the first time I agreed to attend a show by the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus with him. It was one of the greatest times we had together. Mikie also loved nature and he drove me to a few beautiful natural spots in upstate New York. I remember once standing with him in front of a beautiful waterfall and hearing him comment that he wished no one ever destroys it.

Mikie wrote me awhile back to inform me that he had acquired a small property in the woods and he was planning a reunion of his favourite Skidmore students there. “You would love this place, Joe,” he said to me on the phone, “and feel free to visit whenever you want.” He even volunteered to pick me up from Vermont.

The last time Mikie texted me was to tell me that he loved me, and that the world was full of corrupt public figures. Again, he made me promise to stay true to the cause and remain genuine. The message made me happy, yet I remember feeling a little eerie. I told another friend who was nearby that I hope Mikie was fine.

Life has taken me from end to end since I left Sierra Leone and I have met several wonderful friends along the way. Mikie was one of them. We never said goodbye, but I hope life was kind to you in your last moments, my friend.

In your memory!

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KATEHUN KATEHUN (pronounced Ka-te-hun)-is a Mende word for a symposium or community center where disputes are settled. Everyone is permitted to make his/her case before a presiding chief in an open forum. On this forum, I write primarily for those who stand committed to the Rule of Law in Africa and to the value that our future is better determined by the government of the people, by the people, and in service for the people. To advance the African value of Ubuntu through International Law and the Principles of a United Nations, which propels us towards Life in Larger Freedom.
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