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The Road to the Horizon

The Road to the Horizon
Short stories about travelling to remote places, working in unusual places, life as a humanitarian aid worker, expeditions and sailing. But mostly about enjoying the road more than reaching the destination.
Articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


Our microfinance team allocated its 1,666th loan
2012-03-19 00:40:00
Would you even know where Kyrgyzstan is? Leave alone, been there? And would you even have thought to finance an entrepreneur there? Ever? Well we did. On all three accounts: "Knew", "Visited", and "Financed"... We just financed our 1,666th loan (that is one thousands six hundred and sixtysixthththth) loan with our Kiva micro financing team. The loan went to Zaripakhon, 52 years and mother of three children. She is a cattle farmer since 2000 selling milk and dairy products. To order... Full post on
More About: Loan , Team , Microfinance
KONY2012: Can Social Media Capture a War Criminal?
2012-03-09 15:54:00
I blogged before about Kony, the infamous leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. For decennia, he has been terrorizing, first Uganda, and now, larger areas of the surrounding countries. According to the guys from KONY2012, one of the reasons why Kony has not been captured, is lack of a lack of means and efforts. Those in turn, can only be possible if the public opinion pushes policy makers to allocate enough resources in order to smoke out an indicted mass murderer. Thus, was the approach... Full post on
More About: Social , Media , Capture
Monsanto Go Away
2012-01-30 13:06:00
As part of the Occupy Maui movement, The Human Revolution has a clear message for Monsanto . More on Monsanto on The Road. Full post on
Happy 2012 everyone. Now start changing the world, will you?
2011-12-31 21:39:00
Since we kicked off our Kiva microfinance project "Change Start s Here" in November 2008, our Kiva Lending Team has already funded over 1,500 projects, for a total value of US$54,000. Check out our project score card on our Have Impact! blog. In 2011, I had a wide range of sponsors for the blogs I manage. After deducting the running costs for my blogs, I want to invest the left-over funds in our microfinance project "Change Starts Here" . Seems like a good way to start 2012 off on a good... Full post on
More About: World , Happy , Changing , The World
Looking for a job as an aidworker? Here is a good start!
2011-12-24 10:20:00
Ever since I wrote the post on "How to become an aidworker", I get mail from people asking for advice. Most struggle with getting into "the system", which is indeed the hardest part: "getting through that solid iron gate". Part of the problem is that people don't know where to look for vacancies. Job announcements in the aid and nonprofit sector are spread in many different places. I tried to change that, and built an aggregator. AidJobs collecting job vacancies in the international aid... Full post on
More About: Start , Good
Teased bull frog eats finger
2011-12-24 09:15:00
An African bull frog is trying to catch ants on an smartphone screen. Kinda funny. Is even more funny when he takes revenge.. Discovered via AllTop Full post on
More About: Frog , Bull
Where the hell is Matt?
2011-12-16 18:03:00
This is really sweet.  From his website: Matt is a 35-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames. Matt achieved this goal pretty early and enjoyed it for a while, but eventually realized there might be other stuff he was missing out on. In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia and used the money he'd saved to wander around Asia until it ran out. He made this site so he could keep... Full post on
More About: Hell
Hans Rosling: The only way to stop population growth.. is to increase child
2011-11-04 19:43:00
... even if it sounds contradictory: Increasing child survival rates will stop population growth. With thanks to GB for the link! Full post on
More About: Growth , Stop , Child
The UN debate of the day: Where is the 7 billionth baby born?
2011-10-31 15:42:00
From our UN-correspondent: In 1999, the UN decided the 6 billionth (is it 6 billionth or 6th billion or 6th billionth?) human being would be born in Sarajevo (picture). The fact that the Balkan area was still recovering from a nasty war, made that decision easy. For months now, the UN member states have been debating when and where the 7 billionth member of our human community was to be born. The US veto'd any country which had more than 10% of muslim population, forgetting that would not... Full post on
More About: Baby , Debate
Video: Wear your seat belt
2011-10-25 19:52:00
Amazing what emotional impact a good video clip can make, no? PS: Updated the post. Video fixed. Full post on
More About: Seat , Belt
The status of the world, according to the Global Hunger Index 2011
2011-10-12 14:28:00
IFPRI (The International Food Policy Research Institute) just published its 6th annual Global Hunger Index. If you want an overview of the state of the world, related to poverty, hunger, and overall development achievements, I think this is a must-read. The Index combines three equally weighted indicators into one score: the proportion of people who are undernourished,  the proportion of children under five who are underweight, and  the under-five child mortality rate. The 2011... Full post on
More About: World , The World , Status
Steve Jobs: Lessons on life
2011-10-07 14:31:00
Steve Jobs (RIP) talking about his lessons on life, to young Stanford University graduates. About dropping out to drop in at college, about the trust that one day the dots in your life will connect. About to love doing what you do. About not loosing the limited time you have on Earth, by living someone else's life. Truly inspiring. Reminded me of Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. Full post on
More About: Life , Apple , Steve , Steve Jobs
Calling on the good and willing
2011-08-25 04:35:00
After 17 years in the field, working in front line humanitarian emergency response, of which 15 years in food aid relief, I took a sabbatical break. Taking a distance allowed me to discover an other side of the humanitarian work, something more longer term, but with no less impact: agricultural development. Over the past sabbatical year, I had the opportunity to work with a team at CGIAR, mostly on social media related projects. That work brought me to the field, talking to farmers about... Full post on
More About: Calling , Good
Another drought. Is the development failing?
2011-08-16 13:17:00
When I started working in the Horn of Africa, in the mid 90's, my first emergency was a drought operation. Between 1900 and now, the region had more than 18 famine periods. This year, we have another one. And I am sure - unless we change things drastically - there will be another drought emergency a few years from now. As an aidworker, I always worked in emergencies. Droughts, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, wars, were my daily work... Some of these calamities are hard to anticipate, leave... Full post on
More About: Development
The importance of bio-diversity.
2011-08-14 13:48:00
A sweet, unpretentious, yet significant TEDtalk by Cary Fowler, the executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, on the importance of preserving the bio-diversity of our seeds, and the role of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in this. While often dubbed as "the Doomsday Vault", the half a million seeds stored at Svalbard guarantee a future rather than a doomsday: As the natural conditions under which we grow our food continuously change, our seeds also need to adapt. As these changes... Full post on
So who is the dude in the suit?
2011-07-27 23:28:00
Okay.... self sensoring prevailed. Figured out who the dude was. Post deleted. Full post on
More About: Dude
A move towards ethical advertising?
2011-07-27 21:43:00
An article in the press made me chuckle at first, and afterwards, made me think.. Ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington for a beauty product of giant L'Oreal were banned by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA stated the retouched images misled consumers by exaggerating the results the beauty products could achieve. The advertising agency admitted the images had been "digitally retouched" to lighten the skin, clean up make-up, reduce dark shadows and... Full post on
More About: Move
Dog and man: "I ate it all"
2011-07-16 20:14:00
...because it is Saturday, something lighter. Discovered via: @bethkanter Full post on
The worst photoshopped press pictures
2011-07-16 20:12:00
Gone are the times where the press was the only source of information. Social media is here! So when state run press agencies think of getting away with mis-information or propaganda, social media kicks in. As when this string of Photoshop woo's got exposed through social media: Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, is made to believe he swore in the newly appointed governor of the troubled Hama region, last week. However, the photoshop artist who doctored this picture should rethink his... Full post on
More About: Pictures , Press
The world at 1,000 frames per second
2011-07-13 09:42:00
Today... because there is too much misery in the world, a post of beauty in small things. Discovered via Laughing Squid Full post on
More About: World , The World
So why did the West push for South Sudan's independence?
2011-07-10 14:52:00
75% of the oil reserve in Sudan, perhaps 6.5 billion barrels, is located in South Sudan (Source). Since the "second" Sudan war between the North and South started in 1983, an estimated 2 million civilians were killed, and at least 4 million were displaced at least once. During the war, aid agencies set up one of the largest, most costly and complex humanitarian relief operations ever, "Operation Lifeline Sudan", running a "relief pipeline" from Kenya (and partially Uganda) into the South.... Full post on
More About: West , Independence , South Sudan
How egoistic can people be?
2011-07-01 17:41:00
A video showing two motorcyclists who got entangled on a busy highway in China ... Nobody seemed very eager to help... Full post on
More About: People
Yeaah, It's a Party in the CIA
2011-06-28 01:44:00
yeah, we?ve got our backups all over the world, from Kazakhstan to Bombay; payin? the bribes like yeah, pluggin? the leaks like yeah; interrogating the scum of the earth, we?ll break them by the break of day! yeeeaaahhh, it?s a party in the CIA! by Weird Al Yankovic Full post on
More About: Party
Which countries are the happiest?
2011-06-26 12:33:00
GOOD's World Database of Happiness has tracked down how happy people over the past 30 years. Check out the interesting infographic on the state of happiness in the different countries, over the past years. Full post on
More About: Countries
Video: The Girl Effect
2011-06-25 12:27:00
We have covered advocacy campaigns by nonprofit organisations in the past. Here is a very simple non-pretentious video by The Girl Effect . Simple is powerful. Full post on
More About: Video
US, UN and the Taliban: An invitation to dance.
2011-06-18 10:44:00
There are no coincidences in life. Certainly not if they concern politics. Once again, UN and US politics have only one letter of difference. KABUL: The United States and other foreign powers are engaged in preliminary talks with the Taliban about a possible settlement to the near decade-long war in Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday. (Source) and on the very same day: The UN Security Council has split the international sanctions regime for the Taliban and al-Qaida... Full post on
More About: Dance , Invitation
Sri Lanka's killing fields. The video.
2011-06-15 13:39:00
We have been highlighting the plight of civilians caught up in the Sri Lanka civilian war since 2007. Back in 2009, after the last Tamil stronghold fell into the hands of the government, I published a post called "The killing fields of Sri Lanka". Channel 4 just released a video, with the same title, documenting repetitive and systematically executed war crimes committed by both the government and Tamil fighters against unarmed civilians, clearly marked medical facilities and other... Full post on
More About: Video
Khadaffi's daughter launches law suit against NATO
2011-06-15 12:17:00
Aisha Khadaffi, "the man's daughter", filed a law suit against NATO. Legal papers were submitted to the prosecutor's office in Brussels her French lawyer. Ms Khadaffi's four-month daughter, Mastoura, was one of Khadaffi's four grandchildren killed during a NATO bombing raid. (Even though Berlusconi - for one credible news source- alleges this to be propaganda) The lawsuit is quoted saying "The target was a civil building inhabited by civilians and was neither a command post nor a military... Full post on
More About: Belgium , Nato
Second day of farmer interviews in Kenya
2010-10-17 12:20:00
Today, we did a second row of interviews in Emru Kenya , trying to understand how farmers cope with climate change. We interviewed Ruth, a widow who was looking after her grandchildren, trying to find inventive ways to adapt to the shorter rainy season. I told her my first girlfriend was called Ruth too. She teased me "You should have married her, why did you not?". I felt privileged to spend several hours with Celeste, with a blessed age of 88, and his wife Julia. They proudly... Full post on
More About: Interviews
About reforestation and conservation farming in Meru Kenya
2010-10-17 12:20:00
Today we did our last interviews in the neighbourhood of Meru, right under Mount Kenya . Every single interview reveals new material, lets us discover new angles, and stories. More over, every single moment, we meet beautiful people, with a spank in their eye and stories to tell. I have been amazed how little problem people have to stand in front of a camera team and start talking. Shows how proud they are of their work. A couple of pictures from today's trip: Edward is a retired... Full post on
More About: Conservation
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