Spring in DC

Looking at the calendar today, I realized it has been one year since I officially closed my service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia. Sometimes it seems like it was just a few weeks ago I was in Zambia; while sometimes it feels like it has been years. It’s been a crazy year – over the course of twelve months, I’ve had malaria, moved back to Iowa, traveled to Jamaica, got a new job, moved to DC, moved to a new house, went to my first NBA and NHL games, and met a ton of new people. It’s been … Continue reading Spring in DC

Originally posted on BangweuluFish:
I didn’t have a photo of a shoebill’s eye so I’ve used one of a Tyrranosaurus instead With BBC Africa’s recent footage of a shoebill nest in Bangweulu making headlines I’ve realised its high time I put some photos and facts up here about the Bangweulu swamp’s flagship species. Kapotwe, the tame shoebill that lived at the research station. Shoebill (Baleaniceps rex- meaning ‘whale-head king’) occur only in the Africa’s most vast swamps and wetlands. Here they mostly just stand around, their giant feet supporting their weight on the floating grass. They are fairly lazy, so instead… Continue reading

DC Update

It’s long overdue, but here is an update on life in DC: I was offered a new contract at the end of my three months with Peace Corps. I accepted, and now have a job here for the next two and a half years. Peace Corps is unique (at least in the Federal Government) in that you can only work for Peace Corps for five years at a time. Apparently this policy dates back to the early days – Sargent Shriver (the first PC Director) said that if Peace Corps was going to be a federal agency, it wasn’t going … Continue reading DC Update

Hack-a-Thon Day 1

Last night, I attended a great opening reception at the World Bank for the Hack-a-Thon. The one here in DC is focused heavily on sanitiation and most of the people participating will be focusing on solving the santition problem sets that have been submitted. Last night was a chance to do some networking and explain a little more about our ideas and try to get more people on board with our ideas. 9:00 After a little confusion, I found the OpenGovHub. The room has a great set-up, lots of workstations with plenty of plug-ins. Right now people are rolling in, … Continue reading Hack-a-Thon Day 1

Before the Hack-a-Thon Starts

For those of you who haven’t heard, Peace Corps has teamed up with Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) to help develop technology-based solutions to local community problems in developing countries. to the problems submitted during the Innovation Challenge. The Innovation Challenge was open to anyone to submit problems they have seen during their service. A few of the ideas were selected and have been submitted to RHoK, who will work to develop solutions this weekend. This weekend (December 1 & 2), 48-hour volunteer “hack-a-thons” are being held in locations all over the globe – including Lusaka! I will be attending … Continue reading Before the Hack-a-Thon Starts

Rock me like a hurricane

Post-Sandy update: Turns out that Sandy blew past DC and headed for New York instead. Here in DC, it was pretty low key. There was some damage, mostly small to medium branches down around town. We didn’t even end up losing power. I think we ended up with about six inches of rain over the two days – a lot, but not as much as lots of other places. We did get two days off from work – but it was business as usual for most people on Wednesday the 31st. All in all, DC was incredibly lucky. My thoughts go out … Continue reading Rock me like a hurricane