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Blog find of the week: Al Jazeera Blogs

Al Jazeera TV is my first stop for wider and deeper coverage of international news on TV, especially when it comes to Africa. I think I can safely argue that no mainstream international news channel is covering Africa the way Al Jazeera is today (an aside: I think CNN’s Inside Africa is vastly improved).

So it’s fitting that I recommend Al-Jazeera blogs, for those of you interested in international news as seen from a different lens.

Does Parenting Make you Better at Work?

Interesting article in the NYTimes.

In my experience parenting has made me better at work…how so?

  • a lot more focused…no time to dilly-dally if you are managing a household with two kids under three;
  • much better at seeing the bigger picture…kids give you perspective;
  • better at multi-tasking (I’m mum, nurse, story-teller, cook, psychologist, arbitrator, negotiater, fixer of bubus, Teletubbies watcher, decider, etc.);
  • better at decision making (is this worth going to the ER to or not?),
  • and much much better at trusting my intuition (there is no playbook for parenting, 99% is trusting your gut).

What about you KP readers, has parenting made you better at work?

Update on the Reconciliation agreements

The South Consulting report on the implementation of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation (KNDR) agreements, covering the period July-September 2009, can now be found on: http://www.dialoguekenya.org

Blog find of the week: Discover JKUAT

Wow, what an eye-opener.   We rarely think of Kenyan public universities as centers of innovation anymore (at least I don’t).   So discovering the JKUAT blog has been a revelation.  Plus so much of the news around Kenya is negative nowadays, hard to remember why we love our country so much some times.

Highlights for me -  insights into mobile development classes taking place there and seeing just how impactful the partnership with MIT-AITI is (different model for aid perhaps…teach skills rather than support corrupt govts?).

It’s relatively new, a little over a month old so I hope they keep up with the content.

Quick Hits: Oct 7

– Can Cape Town become South Africa’s Silicon Valley (interesting debate in the comments as well)?   And Nairobi for East Africa?

– Is it just me, or is gender-based sexual violence now a requisite part of political violence (not just war) in Africa?

– Cave-dwelling blogger hasn’t spent money in 9 years.   Um. OK.

– What entrepreneurs can learn from activists.   Occasionally we can be practical :-)

African Fashion Mags In NY Times


Nice profile of African fashion magazines in the NYTimes, but the writer

should have consulted Binyavinga’s “How to write about Africa” piece before constructing that first paragraph

Sub-Saharan Africa does not bring to mind an image of a woman with perfectly manicured nails flipping through glossy magazines in search of the latest handbag or celebrity haircut.


Personal Maxims

Trying to get my blogging mojo back, and I have been spending quite a bit of time lately mentoring young students, and it occurred to me that as I’m settling into my 30s I’m developing a set of maxims that guide me…thought I’d share some of them.

– If you want to make something happen, I really believe in speaking it.  Over and over again.  No matter how long it takes to get there. Not just to yourself but to others.   It makes it real, it forces you to develop a practical game plan and you become accountable.

– The word no won’t kill you.  Learn to ask for what you want or go for what you want (women especially).

– On the flip said, learn to say no when it comes to things you don’t want.

– Lately I get asked about my work/family life balance or how I juggle.   I don’t balance and I don’t juggle.  Everything has to work around my family or it’s not happening.

– When you have children, remember that they are an addition to the family that is you and your partner – without this center the family is nothing…do not make your lives revolve around your kids.

– On the light side.  No kiddie CDs in my car.   Ever.  :-)

– If you don’t give back to your community/to society…it’s all meaningless.

Our Turn to Eat Available via M-Pesa

Michaela Wrong’s book, “It’s Our Turn to Eat” is still not being openly sold in Nairobi in most book stores, so  a small group of enterprising Kenyans have got together to import some copies of “It’s Our Turn to Eat” into Nairobi and sell them via the web, using Mpesa. They’re starting off with an experimental 150 copies, if it works they’ll step up the numbers. The books are available now, on: http://www.thekenyashop.com/