After ten years abroad, my friend Débora moved back to her hometown, Lisbon, last year. People there sometimes ask why she came back. Surely there are so many more opportunities abroad?
Sometimes Débora wonders why, too. After Bonn, Leipzig, Brussels, Geneva and London, it’s taking a while to adjust to the laid-back Portuguese attitude to planning, the open-ended work meetings and the buses that don’t turn up. Not to mention eating dinner so late.
It’s not only the reverse culture shock; for many returning to Portugal, there’s also a financial one, in a country where the minimum monthly wage is under EUR 600. Continue reading “Europe’s hottest hub”
Belatedly, a selection of images from travels in Kerala, Goa and Mumbai last month.
In Mumbai, I also met with the ‘incubator’ for social entrepreneurs, UnLtd India – you can read my interview piece published by Devex Impact here.
This month I’m in Kazo, just outside Kampala (Uganda), working with a community organisation called UYWEFA – who I found via idealist.org, a great resource for non-profit opportunities all over the world.
I’m doing film-making and photography projects with young people, schoolkids, and HIV positive women – not to mention a few other unexpected tasks like filming the local football tournament. More details, pictures and videos coming soon – in the meantime, I’m blogging from over here.
Maybe I’m too early. There are flatscreen TVs, fashionably ripped jeans and perfume brands I’ve never heard of – but not much selling going on. Security guards lean over the stairwell. Traders count their stock. The four-storey Tianxiu building, in central Guangzhou in southern China, comes alive later perhaps.
I won’t know for sure, though, not today. It’s three in the afternoon, and I have just a few hours in the city. I’ve made a beeline for Tianxiu: Guangzhou is home to the largest African community in the country, and this is the heart of it all.
Continue reading “Africa abroad: scramble for Guangzhou”
Beijing is cool. If you can afford to pay for cool, of course. Vintage stores, cocktail bars and cappuccino places with mis-matching furniture for the expats and the well-off. For the rest, not-so-clean-looking noodle places and public toilets: the hutong (courtyard) housing much-loved by Westerners doesn’t come with its own sanitation. Continue reading “Belatedly from Beijing”