Monday, July 7, 2008

Going to Malawi!

So, it's official. I'm going to Malawi next week. The IRI along with our partner Swiss Re is sending me there to have a series of meetings with the national met service of Malawi, some people in the agriculture ministry, and local village leaders. I'm excited about the opportunity, even though I will only be gone for about 10 days.

These meetings are relating to the project I'm working on at IRI relating to drought insurance for rain-fed agriculture - the primary source of livelihood for most of the people that live in Malawi, and most of Africa for that matter. The idea is to help protect their crops during droughts - and that if the rains fail, they will be paid back for the cost of their seeds and fertilizer - which will allow them to plant the next season's crops. According to local officials in the villages we are working in across Africa, drought is the #1 risk they face for hunger, education (kids are forced to work more in hard times), health (more diseases are spread when people are weak), gender equality (women often bear the brunt of manual labor duties in Africa), and general prosperity - since most rural areas are based almost entirely on an agricultural economy. Helping make droughts more bearable will help to reduce poverty in Africa.

In other news:

I'm starting to love this guy. Especially since he was the guy that invented PECOTA. How amazing.

Is it normal to see a family of mother and baby turkeys on your walk to work?

If you know me, you'll understand why this is the first site I check each morning. Even before email.

And, the first Atlantic hurricane of the season formed today. Bertha. She's beautiful. No threat to land (hopefully - but watch out if you're in Bermuda). Scary still though because this storm followed a pattern more typical of August or September - normally the peak months of the season. And if storms are forming like that this early.... well... did I ever tell you how much I like Portland? It seems safer there. =)

1 comment:

becca said...

woo hoo! have fun in the foreign land.