My first mind blowing experience in Kosovo happened almost immediately when my feet touched the ground getting out of the bus in Kosovo - what an introduction to a country!
Having emerged from the shadow of a war that divided ethnic communities in the Balkans just over a decade ago, Kosovo considers itself to be the baby of Europe – having declared independence as recently as 2008. Kosovo has still not been formally recognized by a large number of states, including neighbor Serbia.
The NEWBORN monument which celebrates Kosovo's Independence
Despite all of the reading I had done before actually deploying to my field placement, I still felt like I had no idea what to except in this country that so recently emerged from a violent ethnic conflict. In this blog forum I am not able to give a recap of the recent history with the attention it deserves but if you are interested in learning more I highly recommend taking a look at the nicely documented timeline of events of the Kosovo War complied by Frontline and PBS, click here.
Riding a motorcycle in a developing country is, well, eventful to say the least. The term “road hazard” takes on a whole new meaning. Horse drawn carts, herds of cattle, stray chickens – the possibilities are endless. The first time I had the pleasure of experien
“I just want to be a successful business woman,” Sandra says when asked what she hopes to achieve in the next 2-3 years.
She already is. In fact, she is the most successful agent working with Zoona--a mobile money/transactions company that allows individuals to send and receive money over their phones using the conversion of cash into electronic value, and electronic value back into cash. Zoona relies on a distrubuted network of agents, like Sandra, who operate businesses that provide the cash in/out capability.
Sandra opened her first mobile transactions shop in 2010 and now has expanded to four!She is dominating the market in Kitwe, the second largest city in Zambia and the mining center of the Copperbelt Province. And she's only 26.
Zoona staff say it’s her attitude that puts her above the rest. She would open her first shop at 7am while others opened at 8am. And despite her success, she's never given herself a raise! She puts all of the profits back into the business in order to expand.
Kerosene is the primary source of light for over a billion people on the planet. Its fumes can cause health problems for those that use it frequently (sometimes children, studying after dark), and the long-run costs can reach a quarter of a family’s income.
From Azerbaijan, another photo blog! This time, no politics, no opinions - just spectacular views of one of the best regions on the planet. Photos from the northern towns of Sheki, Zaqatala, Qax, and a couple from Georgia.
Having lived here for three months now, it's easy to forget how oblivious I was of this country before I arrived. Few even know where Azerbaijan is on a map. You (just about every one of you) has never and probably will never see this place.