Tales From the Hood is now closed – I will no longer post or update to this site. You can still interact with me in the following places:
AidSpeak (external blog for AidSource)Follow @talesfromthhood
For posterity I’m leaving the majority of these posts public. If you think you should be able to take a peek at protected posts drop me a line.
Tales From the Hood was a humanitarian aid blog. It is a collection of more or less real-time stories, reflection and opinion about life inside the humanitarian aid industry… from some of the worst neighborhoods in the global village.
Tales From the Hood is a series of essays about my own inner struggle to balance being a full-on unapologetic professional aid worker while also staying eyes-open to the inconsistency, dilemma, paradox and sometimes plain absurdity that very clearly exist in the humanitarian aid industry.
While this blog is mainly observation and reflection, I do reserve the right to take on technical, theoretical or ethical issues as my mood dictates. I also reserve the right to stand on a soap-box, rant, self-contradict, reverse my opinion, argue opposite points from one post to the next, and digress at will.
Tales From the Hood is a “read at your own risk” blog. Sometimes I have unpopular opinions that I am not shy about sharing. Sometimes I rant, use sarcasm as a literary device, or just get plain snarky. You’ve been warned.
Be sure to read this post: “Not my job…”
- I take it as a given that humanitarian aid is a “good thing” (some obvious failings and a few spectacularly bad aid projects notwithstanding). If you want unbridled criticism of humanitarian aid, read AidWatch.
- Views expressed in Tales From the Hood reflect my views and mine alone - not those of my employer (present) or employers (past, plural).
Why is this blog called Tales From the Hood? It started as an inside joke based on the name of a 1995 urban horror film: My friends and I were always getting sent to the roughest neighborhoods of the “global village.” When I started blogging in about 2006, Tales From the Hood was my immediate first choice. This blog has gone through several face-lifts, re-starts, and a transition from blogspot to wordpress.
About Me. I have worked in the field of international aid, relief and development since the early 1990s when I got my first aid job in Asia. Since then I’ve held both head/support office positions in the U.S.A. as well as field based positions. To-date my career has been approximately evenly divided between field and HQ posts.
In different roles my work has taken me throughout Asia, the Middle East, the Former Soviet Union, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. I have worked for very large INGOs whose names you’d immediately recognize, and also tiny little ones that you’ve almost certainly never heard of.
At different times I have been stranded, mugged, shot at, deathly ill, upgraded, dissed, pampered, promoted, in the vicinity of bomb blasts, detained, reprimanded, micro-managed, empowered, and ignored.
I have a real humanitarian aid job. Blogging about humanitarian aid (aid blogging) is something I do because I find it cathartic.
I co-blog at Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like.
You can send me email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading.