Monday, March 1, 2010

Out of Office Reply: Guess Where I'm Going...

Wow. The only thing going faster than time lately has been my cash on the weekends. After a long week of trying to pull every little thing together and countless edits (thanks to all those who helped), I gave my final presentation and handed over a 40-page report on my work. From what I understand, it went well enough, and they are pretty pleased (that's me with the head of R&D at TechnoServe, Higino...he's basically a rock star...just go to the mall with him and you'll see he knows everyone). When it gets finalized and released by TechnoServe, I'll let you check it out. Now, after a weekend of celebrations (but honestly, which weekend isn't?), and three months of pretty solid work. I'm ready to get out of this bubble.

The insight into aid-development, large-scale poverty alleviation, and business-based approaches I've gained has been amazing, but beyond all of this is the enormous detachment I've felt from the local population and what reality is for the majority of Mozambicans. Here I am staying at a three-star hotel, buffet breakfast, going AC-to-AC everyday with a driver, working 10 hours a day on a laptop speaking all English all the time. I've fallen into the (very small) expat circle, going to Sunday night local music concerts, and chatting ad nauseam about everything US and the good, bad and ugly of Mozambique. The only respite I get is when I travel in the local minibuses or go out to eat by myself, and since I'm pretty cheap I usually hit the roadside stalls. This kind of stuff is pretty much out of the question for most of my Western-wage-earning friends here.

Being abroad this long (8 months now??), you long for some stability or normal routine - somewhere that you know your footing. You want to know where you can grab a beer or some cheap good food, instead of going on a mad hunt everyday. But now, I'm tired of this stability. I'm ready to get dirty, be uncomfortable, and run into awkward situations (that's kind of the definition of my life, but we're going to try to take it to a new level). So I'm off. I'm not going to tell you where until I get there and find a computer, which could be in a day or two, so I welcome your guesses. Bonus points if you guess the city.


  1. Wichita Falls, TX! Okay, not so much a guess as a vote.

  2. Some where in Madagascar? I hear they have lots of talking animals there!

  3. Are you lost? I have given you six days and I still don't know where you are, did you walk to the new country? Where are you? Does it really take you this long to move to a new country and find internet? :)