When I was first getting settled in my new living quarters here in Zambia, I mentioned to a more senior volunteer that I was thinking of building an addition to my gazebo. I wanted to make a raised-bed herb garden. "Oh yeah," they said, "just make sure you buy your bricks soon, before the end … Continue reading The Future Forest and the Mouse Morgue: A Season of Life and Death in my Little Hut
"Yes, of course, madam, I understand [that you're several hours late for your next meeting]. But just quickly -- before you go, what would be your advice for Zambians who are hoping to eradicate poverty as to what they can do in order to do so?"
In which some people from my village write their own grant and I'm really not in charge of anything.
I (over?)think a lot about storytelling. Especially the stories we tell about ourselves. In the age of social media, generally speaking, most people have more tools than ever for narrating their own lives to an audience. I hate introducing people to each other. I love putting people in a room together and making those connections, … Continue reading Family Autobiography Project #1: Edith
They say time is elastic in Zambia, stretched and bent as need be. And so, the entire nation pushed school openings back for two weeks because of the cholera outbreak (mostly around Lusaka). Then they un-pushed one of those weeks at the last minute. But the headteacher told me 3 days before school opening that … Continue reading In the Time of Cholera
Recently a couple other volunteers and I were on a skype conference call with the soon-to-be-Peace-Corps-Trainees that are arriving in a couple weeks. They asked if we had any recommended readings for pre-Peace Corps. I've dug up my list of stuff I had wanted to read about a year ago. It's mostly political theory and … Continue reading Read it and Probably Weep
don't say what you mean spirited a way with words I'm getting you away from your point (Cuz who's keeping score) but with the program Rerouting to truth following in footsteps of centipedes Because they say walking is free So Be It because we started closer thn we thought … Continue reading Old Year’s / Trans(lation)port
We witnessed you The moment you found out What feet were for Re-placing them unsteadily Hips woOo-bbling the Rest of you abOut. Even you Seemed as shocked as The rest of us Though none of us has any right to be So surprised by the normal Course of things. A beat and then: Your … Continue reading Mayiimbo in Motion
The Bad After a couple weeks of trainings, I got back to the village eager to see how my tree nursery must have spurted. I'm focusing on species that are good as live fencing in order to create a solid space where future tree nurseries are well protected. There are, after all, certain vulnerabilities in … Continue reading The bad, the good, and the beautiful
After we finished this spur-of-the-moment interview I thanked baTaata and said that I think it's important for people to hear how someone with his perspective would answer these types of questions. I know that there are a lot of people all over the world who care very much about the idea that everyone should have enough food to eat, and that farmers shouldn't be struggling so much. But I think too much of the time we only hear ideas about how to help that come from a distance. I told him too that I think a lot of the time the problem is really the questions that we ask.