Three Bribes and $25

Fascinating week ahead. Here's a taste.

(i) I'm heading to Gulu tomarrow morning with USAID for two days of community meetings on reconciliation and reintegration in northern Uganda. Basically, the military and strategic peace talks having been progressing quite well in Juba, Sudan, but little is being discussed about the details of actually rebuilding and re-establishing a community that has been devestated for 20 years. Few international examples are helpful, though post-conflict experiences in Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Rwanda shed light on the massive challenge. For the next three days we'll be hearing from key community leaders on their priorities. My boss claims there is amazing early morning running in Gulu, so I'm pumped.

(ii) Two interesting developments on personal technology and community. Harvard Law School and the Berkman Center are teaching a CyberOne law school class through personal technologies like Second Life, Wikis, Vlogs and Podcasts. It's a pretty fascinating experience that ties into what I tried to elucidate in my Campus Compact paper. ALSO, I lent a hand in designed my first web page for a prominent dance club in Kampala with help from my friend Rebekah! The HTML wasn't too bad by the CSS will take some time to master. You'll see the site soon.

(iii) Those who live in Africa understand the intensity of my excitment when I say: I got books in the mail! I got a few different things, but most interestingly I got Steven Smith's new 'Reading Leo Strauss'. Reading commentary on political philosophy brings me back to my undergraduate days. I'm still hovering between Strauss and Kojeve on the promise of liberal democracy.

In weekend news. I pulled some serious Ugandan hustle after I left my passport in a taxi on Saturday night. Suprisingle, I got it back for only three bribes, one trip to the police station, and $25!

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  • Hey Josh, this all sounds very good! I'm glad to see a good man like yourself over there helping to achieve peace and progress.

    No doubt it is a massive challenge. Has USAID considered the challenges in post-apartheid South Africa? A UN Truth Commission was held to help heal some of the psychological rifts. USAID isn't the UN, but is there any such program, even on a smaller scale, that might be similar?

    Keep up the posting, pal. Everything looks solid and I'm always reading. Send Uganda and our friends my very best wishes.

    If you see Colin at Makerere, tell him Ryan from Texas sends his greetings and needs his address!

    Hope all is well otherwise.

    By Blogger none, at 9:34 AM  

  • Ryan:

    Holla to Tejas!

    I spent the last few weeks looking at international best practices in South Africa, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Rwanda. They all have intresting lessons to tell. However, the problem is that each one of these is unique, and Uganda, just like each of these other programs has unique challenges that need to be worked out by the community and can't be solved by international norms.

    By Blogger Joshua, at 2:35 AM  

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