This blog was an unloved child. It was born in the midst of my dislike for the blogosphere. I held a grudge against online communication for a long time because I feel it disconnects us from living in the moment.

But with some encouragement, I gave it a shot. It didn’t take long before I started seeing benefits that outweighed the drawbacks. I may spend more time behind my computer, but in doing so I have sparked discussions that made me think and grow. I can update a large number of people on my adventures all at once, although I still prefer personal emails. I have learned to write more concisely. And I have finally started using my camera.

One year later, and this blog has become a daily part of my life. I am still struggling with its changing shape, which will undoubtedly continue to change as I walk different paths in life. For now, I try to break it down as follows:

Development. The more I travel, the more I see. The more I talk to people, the more I learn. I cherish thoughtful discussions on development work, aid, technology. Sometimes I wish I could focus my writing more on these bigger topics, but field immersion often distracts me with stories from day-to-day life. Being able to take a step back and insightfully comment on these issues from a global perspective will come with time.

Personal experiences. I like adventures, I’m willing to do things that many other people are not, and I often end up in pretty interesting – albeit sometimes crazy – situations. I use this blog to both tell those tales and also to comment on life as a mzungu in each of my destinations.

Photography. Some of my photography is used to make a statement or tell a story. The rest is just artistic exploration or an attempt to capture the beauty and reality of life.

I try to strike a balance when posting, and I have found that writing helps me organize my thoughts into more succinct ideas. For something that started off shadowed in doubt, this blog has grown to be more valuable to me than I could have ever imagined.

I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it.

(Photo: Ghana, 2008)