Tag Archives: Africa

Africa rising (against African elitism)

I seldom waste time blogging about Newspaper editorials. I understand these people are paid to vomit through a keyboard. The less nuanced an opinion, the better the clickbait. But this Guardian series about whether Africa is or isn’t “rising” triggered my ire. Eleven years ago I wrote a novel called The Devil’s Right Hand. In it […]

Hero Rats!

I’m catching up on a backlog of blog posts. National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org) has really taken the place of blogging. But I’m currently at 23000 words after 15 days. The more you write, the harder it gets to tie all these characters and plot elements together in a climax. Maybe I’ll be like Stephen […]

Nanowrimo kick-off internal editor and muse figurines

As the 2011 “municipal liaison” (read: event coordinator) for National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) in Kenya, I organized a writers’ kick-off party at the iHUB (www.ihub.co.ke) in Nairobi. One of our activities was for writers to sculpt their “internal editors”: My internal editor is the creature with bug eyes, claws for hands, and a big […]

Kenya Somalia war?

Tensions in Nairobi are running high this week. Many Kenyans are as adamant in support of fighting Al-Shabab in Somalia as I am against it. I feel like I’ve seen this movie before, and it was awful the first time. Just war? But right now people driven by sense of justified righteousness. Being right doesn’t […]

How to geomap story locations across East Africa

          Here are all the locations we’ve collected stories for January to June of 2011 (about 4500 stories so far): The numbers represent unique locations within a city, not numbers of stories. I tried pumping those 1500 story locations mapped into BatchGeo (http://batchgeo.com/map/1fc96e2b6c4a458a54d51bcb25771493) – the results are not totally accurate, but […]

Dejargonifying NGOs and International Development

Last week I discovered Unsuck-it and quipped, “When will somebody create a de-jargon-izer for International Development? The storytelling project is starting to demonstrate that people working at non-governmental organizations all over the world speak a different language from those in the communities they help. And The Economist recently explained why “NGOish” matters. I searched around […]

Trust is more valuable than money: Online fundrasing strategy tips for nacsent organizations

So far, I’ve talked to over 200 organizations in 2011 about joining globalgiving. Most of these organizations are small, nascent, emerging community based operations. Many of them don’t seem to understand why they can’t get a single donation in the globalgiving open challenge. Here’s why. Ask yourself: How many people (besides yourself) are directly involved […]

Mapping a network of Youth Organizations in Kampala

Building Local Trust I met a group of 16 Ugandan youth organizations in Kampala last week, and led a discussion on local and international fundraising strategies they could adopt. In this and similar meetings, organizations say that trust is the biggest barrier to local fundraising. It is not in our culture in Uganda. There are […]

Ugandan Election: You can WIN with just your good looks!

Last week I visited Kampala, the capitol of Uganda, where a national election is underway. They vote for a new President and members of Parliament on February 18th, 2011. The last big election was 5 years ago. There are 8 political parties, and they drive buses or flatbed trucks around the city at all hours […]

Fancy phone tech is overtaking Internet in Nairobi

Some ironic observations about how easy phones make things, and how behind the times Internet remains in Nairobi in 2011: I couldn’t check my gmail in a Nairobi restaurant with their wifi, but kindle works great (on Whispernet3G) for gmail and costs nothing. Skype (which is free over the Internet) can barely call the USA, […]


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