I’ve blogged since June 2005 when I left Copenhagen for a job in northern Uganda, where I worked for 26 months along and across the border to Southern Sudan. I continued subsequently from the Swahili Coast in Tanzania and after I left Africa in March 2010.
And now I am blogging at Dunia ni Duara, which in Kiswahili means 'the world is round', a title fit for a Scandinavian revolving, partly grounded in Copenhagen, partly in Tanzania.
During these years I've learnt that people have a million different opinions on Africa, and that the image of Africa in European media often doesn't correspond with the one of the Africans.
Most often it doesn't correspond with mine.
In 2006 my blog was chosen as Ugandan Blog of the Year, and in March 2008 I was criticized for not displaying the ‘right picture’ of Tanzania.
Though, I am no longer a development worker, I still stick to my original intention; I started blogging because I found the information about development work in Africa too politically correct. Lacking passion, presence and precision. I wanted to use the opportunity of living in Africa to add nuance and perspective to this, to add a personal dimension and to illustrate what it actually feels like.
Obviously, my 5 years in Africa evolved into other experiences and perspectives outside the development NGO box, and today my blogging is much more driven by an on-going curiosity and joy of being surprised by people, culture, art, politics, media etc. When I started blogging in 2005 Facebook and Twitter didn't play a role, but obviously this have seriously influenced my blogging. Both enhanced visits to my blog, but also opened up for communication on more platforms outside the blog.
I communicate on Facebook, Twitter and my blog to keep track of my experience, for learning, staying in touch and for exchanging ideas. (I.e., I've used blog posts to document the 26 months in Uganda in order to make my final report a little less hard to read.)
Another interesting impact of blogging is the friends I have made online, especially when hooking up off line, too. Ugandan Bloggers' Happy Hour, Dar es Salaam Bloggers' Circle, BarCamp Nairobi and the BarCampDar are good experiences in this regard, but the list of personal connections made through blogging is as a matter of fact extremely long and one of the greatest pleasures to me in this regard.
Obviously, I’m not perfect as a person or in my second language. I blog entirely from my personal perspective, knowing very well that my tribe is Scandinavian (viking) and my accent Northern. My writing and photography reflects me, my impressions and view points only. Not the NGO I worked for, nor do my statements represent any other person, unless stated.
My relationship with new media is old-school - meeting new people in cyberspace takes decent engagement as in real life: Catch up with me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or my blog, but please present yourself (or invite me for coffee or Kilis if we're in the same place!)
If you don’t agree with what you read, feel free to ask, comment or exchange viewpoints, but note that I moderate comments.