Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lots and lots of links

It's been a while...

- A must read on Rwandan male prostitutes.

- My friend Jen has a great post on the ways NGOs waste money in Rwanda - she hits on a lot of the points that have disgusted and disillusioned me here over the last few months. To add to her post, the training and per-diem culture here that stretches from expat NGO staff to middle class Rwandan staff to poor beneficiaries means that people are attending trainings not for knowledge they might gain but for the food and money - a truly terrible incentive that all too often takes away from the point of these trainings.
- A blogger on perspectives and conversation in Rwanda. A very good post on why everyday conversation here is sometimes confusing or difficult.

- NPR did a lazy story about connectivity and the Peace Corps, using only 2 PC Rwanda staff and 1 volunteer based in Kigali, the plugged-in capital. It’s very true that Skype, internet, phones, and cell modems have changed Peace Corps, but not everyone is as well connected as volunteers in the capital (writes a volunteer using wireless internet at a fancy hotel where I’ve befriended the staff, although I have no electricity at my new site 75 minutes away). Also, I love mail, and it still takes “weeks or even months” for letters and packages to arrive.

- Reuters has the latest on Rwanda news summarized here.

Rwanda also continues to make appearances in the foreign press, including the Huffington Post, Financial Times, Economist three times, CNN on cell phones for health workers, Time on the “Killer Lake” I regularly swim in, The Guardian on the killer gas and other topics, the NY Times on the election and recently leaked UN report, Kigaliwire has some original analysis, Reuters too, the Irish Times on gorillas (they say tourists in Rwanda are rarified…haha). Time has a wonderful slideshow on Rwanda’s dressed-up polling booths.

As usually I recommend checking out Congo Siasa and Texas and Africa for their excellent Rwanda analysis.

Finally, a verycharity project that's even more half-baked than usual: building ovens to burn wood (which is scarce enough) to bake bread (which most Rwandans don’t eat) to fight hunger (when what’s really needed is balanced nutrition and not more empty carbs).

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