Photographic evidence of Saturday’s Farewell Party for Project TOTO — or the going-away-and-maybe-not-coming-back-party as it was dubbed — has started to emerge at the Project TOTO Flickr Group.
Note especially one aspect of geek nature: of the five humans in the foreground, only one is not using a mobile computing device, and he’s reaching for a beer. And yet we’re all still connected with each other in the room, as well as with everyone else.
Note also the Sony Z1P HD video camera in the foreground: apparently video evidence will emerge later too.
Just for the record, from left to right that’s business analyst Jodie Miners; futurist and minor TV personality Mark Pesce; my partner ’Pong; and founders of Open Australia, katska and Matthew Landauer.
[Photo: Going away may be not coming back party by Kate Carruthers.
But if she’s in the photo, who took it?]
It’s D-7 for Project TOTO, and I’m stressed beyond all belief. It’s now less than a week until I leave for Africa, and my Farewell Party is tomorrow. Meanwhile, the astoundingly clever First Dog on the Moon at Crikey has contributed a morale-building cartoon.
Click through for the full-sized image.
Yes, I still have thousands of things to do. But it’s Friday night and I’m exhausted, so I’ll tell you all about it in the morning. Probably.
Meanwhile, I’d live to know what you’re thinking about Project TOTO, so have a look at the previous posts and say stuff and ask questions and things.
And if you’re wondering who the people quoted are, try @mpesce, @snarkyplatypus, @kcarruthers and @apostrophepong. And also click through to ActionAid Australia for The Good Cause.
It’s D-9 for Project TOTO. My international itinerary has been set and, thanks to some clueful bookings, we’ve squeezed in an extra day for preparation. I leave Sydney next Friday afternoon 26 June.
It seems today I’ll also finally finish the stressful non-TOTO tasks that have interfered with pretty much everything in my life. Provided no-one tosses any more hand grenades in my direction, I’ll therefore have more writing and a clearer plan later today — both for the preparation and for my time in Tanzania.
OK, the timetable and the plan as it stands…
There’s three main ways to fly from Sydney to Dar es Salaam. One goes through Perth and Johannesburg. Another goes via Dubai and Nairobi. But the plan which best suits our needs goes via Bangkok in three flights.
- Depart Sydney on Friday 26 June at 1530 via Thai Airways, arriving in Bangkok at 2155 local time. My last trip to Bangkok was the same flight, TG996, but the old Boeing 747 has been replaced by a Boeing 777. If we get phonecasting working I’ll try posting a podcast while flying across outback Australia using the aircraft’s satellite link.
- Depart Bangkok at 0035 via Kenya Airways, arriving in Nairobi on Saturday 27 June at 0605. I’ll sleep across the Indian Ocean, and wake up to the sight of dawn over Kenya from 10km up.
- Depart Nairobi at 0805 via Kenya Airways to touch down in Dar es Salaam at 0920 local time. What a great time to arrive!
From there, the schedule is still as in the project briefing: Saturday to orient myself; Sunday to Zanzibar; Monday and Tuesday in Dar es Salaam working with the ActionAid Tanzania guys; and then Wednesday through Saturday looking at the field projects. I’ve got Sunday 5 July to myself in Dar es Salaam before flying home the way I came.
But I’ve still got lots to do before that…
Continue reading “We have flights! And almost a plan!”
A few people were talking on Twitter about ActionAid Australia‘s newly-painted office on Parramatta Road, Camperdown in Sydney. So here’s a picture.
I’ve stumbled across this article from 7 May in The Economist which expresses some worries about Tanzania’s economy.
The country already gets 40% of its government budget in aid, but now it wants even more foreign cash to help it through the economic downturn. How much is enough? Tanzania’s president, Jakaya Kikwete, smiles grimly. “We’re trying to bring down our dependency, but we’re grateful for what we receive.”
Kikwete charms potential investors with his sales patter, but is that enough?
Tanzania, many complain, is a “slow” or even “terrible” place to do business — and “ungrateful” for foreign aid or investment. Even its boosters admit it is wrapped in red tape and lacks skilled workers. Almost everyone says Mr Kikwete is spending too much time burnishing Tanzania’s image abroad and not enough fixing problems at home. Last year he chaired the African Union.
In any event, he hopes that aid will keep Tanzania afloat long enough for its economy eventually to make a great leap forward. Shiny new buildings even in provincial towns, along with new roads and water projects, signal optimism. Politics are stable. A rowdy separatist movement in the island of Zanzibar is quiet for now…
With many resources including gold and natural gas, 85% of exports are still agriculture. And 40% of the government’s budget being aid? There’s gotta be some interesting questions to ask there!
The delightful but dangerous Kate Carruthers has confirmed that the Project TOTO going-away-and-maybe-not-coming-back-party is on Saturday 20 June from 3pm at Kelly’s On King, 285 King Street, Newtown in Sydney. If you use Facebook, the electric friendship generator, then you can RSVP over on the event page. Otherwise just tell me. Or just turn up.