I just finished reading Joel Hafvenstein’s “Opium Season“, a book that has absolutely nothing to do with social media but which I’d like to recommend to anyone working in the aid-business. Opium Season is about Hafvenstein’s time in Afghanistan in 2005, when he was working for a USAID funded cash-for-work project that was supposed to supplement the income of people who were due to lose money because of a poppy-eradication campaign. The problem with donor driven programmes What makes this book[...]
Yesterday, around 3,000 people demonstrated against a WTO in Geneva. While coming back from the super market I saw a really bizarre scene in the middle of the riot police and dissipating clouds of tear gas: I was walking through my neighbourhood Paquis, a part of town where the streets are lined with middle-aged prostitutes and drug dealers. At a street corner there was a big gaggle of riot police who had set up an improvised command post the and were processing[...]
As I grabbed my passport this morning, 20 Euros fell out. For a second, I had this weird mental image of a customs official secretly giving money back to travelers as compensation for all his colleagues who expect their palms to be greased. It was a fun thought.
A newspaper from my hometown called me and asked whether they could do an an interview for a mini-series about people who have moved abroad. Afterwards I was thinking that there is another aspect we didn’t talk about: The feeling of not belonging.
To start this blog I want to tell you a little bit about the sometimes rather bizarre environment I’m working in. As you might have read on the “About” page I am – among other things – the social media guy at International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). However, we are a pretty peculiar organization which can make this working here quite challenging.