Wednesday, August 25, 2004

A hectic few weeks since the last post, I...

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Just found a great site set up by DfID (the UK's Overseas Aid Department). It is not very pretty but has some oh-so-true-ringing case studies of real Government IT projects in developing countries that went horribly wrong:
eGovernment for Development - cases of Success and Failure.

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Monday, August 09, 2004

The heat is on! It switched on like a switch 3 days ago and I went from going round the house shutting doors to keep the wind out, to going round the house opening them to let it in. Maybe its only a few degrees but it feels really different. I ran 16km on saturday at 8pm at night. Even though it had been dark for 2 hours it was still sweat-tastic. Mmm I'm sure y'all wanted to hear that.

The elections are coming up, the ruling party will obviously win, but in any case will stop at nothing just to make sure. The donors are still holding up Moz as a poster-child of macroeconomic reform so they will tacitly turn a blind eye to any irregularities so as not to rock the boat. Nina (who works a 48-hour week and spends maybe another 18 hours getting to and from work) managed to go to the electoral registration post in her area FOUR TIMES in the two weeks it was open - and EACH TIME, after she had waited ages in the queue, they stood up and announced "the registration materials have run out and you all have to go home".

So, at the end of all that, she can't vote if she wanted to (and many people her age won't even bother to try they are so turned-off by the massive gravy train which is Moz politics). And she lives in Maputo - imagine what its like in the rural areas! Although on the other hand, the results of the last two elections showed that (as in other sub-saharan african countries) urban voters are less likely to vote for the rulling party, so it may well be intentional on the part of the supposedly-non-party-in-practice-heavily-biased electoral commission.

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Sunday, August 01, 2004

Am feeling envious of Tini's blog. Even if I were able to go into the gory details they wouldn't be exciting as almost getting caught in a pig-trap, or walking 20 miles over hills to get anywhere.

Last night I went to a 'Baile de Finalistas' = Finalist's Ball = Prom (in America). In fact it was for the brother of my friend Kika, but she had taken it upon herself to invite loads of her own friends. It was v. glitzy, Nina (girlfriend, we have been going out for long enough for it to be official now) in a ball dress and scary heels, me in Kilt and all the regalia.

After we had managed to find some seats in Kika's family's 'zone' of the massive hall (actually a converted industrial warehouse), I went to get drinks, way down at the far end. The 'bar' was in fact a family operation run out of some hastily-opened drinks crates. Mum fired drinks out in all directions in super-efficient fashion, Daughter sat at the back texting on her cellphone in an unhelfpul fashion, and I was lumped with Son who was useless, despite his ponytail.

While he struggled with complex tasks like opening a bottle, finding glasses, pouring without spilling etc, all the while shouting at Mum for help - sound familiar? - I was engaged in conversation by the Snappily-Dressed-Guy to my right, in English:
SNG: I like your style (eyes kilt etc.)
Cam: thanks very much
SNG: have you got a puss?
Cam: sorry?
SNG: I said, have you got a puss?
Cam: (giving benefit of doubt): oh this? well actually, its not a purse, its called a sporran, really handy actually
SNG: No, no, I mean a PUSS - like a woman!!
Cam: (switching to Portuguese for crystal clarity): you know, if we were in Scotland I'd punch you for that. But since its your country, no problem.
SNG: Hey, no offence, man, I mean, it was just a joke
Cam: mm-hmm, whatever, talk to the hand
SNG: (exit stage left...)

Luckily everyone else thought Scottish attire was enchanting rather than cross-dressing, although one guy enthusiastically said "your outfit is great - where are you from - England??!!". I, along with assembled company, rolled eyes in Unison and someone whispered "escocia".

So it all worked out happily in the end...

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Some more 'hilarious' porn email sender's names. Yahoo's spam filters seem to be on the blinkety-blink, my Inbox had 17 messages today but only 3 of them were real.
How could anyone resist opening a mail from such a distinguished-sounding gentleman as Randolph von Bartlewink?

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