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Month: March 2012

Why Jim Kim is Right for the World Bank

Why Jim Kim is Right for the World Bank

As faithful readers of this blog know, I am a big fan of the Barack Obama’s foreign policy positions and decisions.  Specifically, I like his deference to nuanced conditions and his emphasis on achieving the objective over claiming credit.  In my neck of the woods – specifically, Libya, Somalia, and Uganda – he understands and appreciates the nuances that made previous incursions into the region unsuccessful.  I think he understands that multilateralism and mutual respect can achieve more than the…

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A Meta-Travel Writing Piece, pt. 2

A Meta-Travel Writing Piece, pt. 2

The other day I talked about the need to really draw your reader in with a short anecdote about something that could never happen in their lives right now, but could if they did what you are doing.  Another key to enhancing the reader experience is to include language that makes your movements seem just a little bit crazy.  Look at what Levin does in this paragraph: So I hitched a van ride from Puerta Princesa to El Nido, a…

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A Meta-Travel Writing Piece, pt. 1

A Meta-Travel Writing Piece, pt. 1

As a generalization, people who travel are interesting.  Not interesting in the sense that they are unique or intriguing (sometimes that is the case), but that they often tell good stories because they have fresh experiences to draw from.  And within the broader fraternity of travelers, the people who detach themselves from the grid and opt for the most self-indulgent of all pursuits – living on a boat, for example – are really the ones who are out there doing it….

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Desperation in the Slums of Nairobi

Desperation in the Slums of Nairobi

On Thursday, I shadowed a colleague of mine as he conducted a survey of one of the slum communities where we have several schools.  For the last few months, I have been analyzing data about the communities where we build schools and understand where demand is highest.  Having spent months looking at scatter plots, I hoped the trip would provide better context and illuminate some of the nuances hidden within the data.  As it turned out, the trip did more…

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How to Get Around the World

How to Get Around the World

Perhaps the most novel and amusing aspect of living abroad is getting around.  In the United States, I spent two years walking through the Copley Square mall to avoid the dismal cold of Boston winters.  When I moved back with my parents to save money for my Kiva Fellowship, I parked my car at Norwood Central and took the commuter rail into Back Bay Station each morning, and back again in the evening.  I actually enjoyed riding the rails for…

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Stealing an Education in Fairfield County

Stealing an Education in Fairfield County

Today, I work for a company that is trying to establish a floor of education for every child in the world, regardless of income status.  Children should have access to a basic education, regardless of socioeconomic status.  And what motivates people at this company is the very real prospect of achieving just that.  We have 60 schools today.  In a year, we will have countless more.  If this experiment works, every child, no matter how poor, will have access to…

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