You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2007.

April 25th was Africa Malaria Day and good old George Dubbya did a dance with the Kankouran West African Dance Company. I am making no comparisons with the late Boris Yeltsin!


The picture is courtesy of Getty Images. It seems that corporations and countries worldwide are starting to work together to improve the treatment and prevention of Malaria.

Malaria is a real and everyday threat to people living in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prophylactic drugs are expensive – it cost me over £70 for just over three week’s worth of Malarone. The newly developed ACT‘s (Artemisinin-based combination Therapies) treatment is equally as expensive. The RollBackMalaria partnership is providing a global approach to fighting malaria. In Tanga there is a great deal of development within the hospital grounds funded by the Gates foundation for reasearch into Malaria.


I was told about this at a workshop earlier this week.  It’s a bit like Twitter but cooler and you can post from your phone – even if it isn’t a really cool phone like Kevin, who can blog, make dinner and even extract your appendix with his phone!  Anyway – – join up and  join me – user name lisav.

I was talking to the owner of a great shop in Skipton yesterday. It is called Dreamers and sells ethical and fair trade goods. They are hoping to become a member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops so are only buying from accredited sources. She’s really interested in the bags from the Women’s workshop but we need to get a regular supply sorted and a Fair Trade accreditation. So just a bit of work there then.

They stock some fantastic stuff and I treated myself to some jewellery from Bali – very nice.

As I mentioned yesterday, I didn’t take any where near enough photos, even though I came back with over 250. Althea has kindly sent me some of hers and here are a couple of great ones taken in the market in Tanga.


Unfortunately, I don’t know who the guys are but on my first visit there I think I mentioned before the stall holder gave me a bag of passion fruit – delicious.


I think this gives a good idea of the range and style of produce. Those green things in the foreground are oranges by the way. They are just as juicy and sweet as the ones we get but not ‘treated’ to make them go orange.

Here are a couple of video links. The first one, the book, you may have seen it’s been around on Youtube, for a couple of months now but is worth revisiting as I think it is very funny, especially if like me you have to spend time trying to explain new technology to people.

The second one is also about technology but more informative. It is said there are two types of Internet user, those who use RSS and those who don’t. I couldn’t imagine not using it but if you think I’m talking techie jargon, check out this video which explains is so well and clearly, no jargon, no clever stuff, just a very imaginative way of putting a really geeky thing across. It is worth spending 5 minutes watching it.

I mentioned before, that I wished that I had taken some photos of the families washing by the rivers. Well fortunately for me Althea already had and she has sent me some of hers.


This is Mama Ade who was one of the health workers at Emau Hill (another photo I didn’t take!). She lived in the house next door to the Women’s Workshop.


They wear such beautiful and colourful clothes it is a real sight to see them all spread out on the rocks to dry near the river.

Yeah yeah yeah – I know, but I was at a great m-learning workshop yesterday. It was hosted by the University of Salford and the most inspiring presentation of the day was by a Salford lecturer who presented the work of one of his undergraduate students. The basic idea was that bluetooth technology could be used for registration and ultimately public response – so you could have the ‘Millionaire – ask the audience’ technology within the lecture theatre. Great stuff but still in development, which is astonishing as Bluetooth is about 4 years old and nobody has thought to do this before. A good day – and sigh – another one today, whimper.

I was visiting the University yesterday and popped in to the Peter Scott Gallery. There is a new exhibition there – ‘Spotlight on St Ives‘ exploring three decades of art after the second world war, inspired by the landscapes of west cornwall. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t realised that St Ives was on the North Cornish coast – such ignorance! It is great and includes work by Barbara Hepworth and is a travelling exhibition from the Hayward.

On a seperate note, Althea and some friends are doing a sponsored walk around Newquay, which I’m pretty certain is not near St Ives.  They have a just giving page here.

I mentioned a month or so ago that I’d been to a conference in Leeds – well the video is now out and can be seen here.  I think my red cardie looks rather nice!

General Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck was a German general in the First World War. In fact he led the only colonial campaign that remained undefeated during that conflict. He was the leader of the German troops in what was German East Africa which of course became Tanganyka and then Tanzania. At the start of the war he commanded a garrison of 3,000 german soldiers and 12 companies of local Askaris. He realised that the war in East Africa would be nothing other than a side show to the main carnage that was taking place in Flanders, so decided to make life as difficult as possible for the British. He mounted a guerilla campaign against British targets in Kenya and Rhodesia including forts, railways and communictions. This diverted manpower away from the western front in Europe.


He returned to what was Tanganyka in 1953 to a hero’s welcome from the veteran soldiers. A lovely final flourish to this story concerns the askaris – or local soldiers. In 1964 the German government decided that the old soldiers could claim a pension. Three hundred old men turned up at the temporary cashier’s office to claim that they were in fact askaris from the Great War. A few had discharge papers but most had nothing to prove their former service. Finally, they were all handed broom handles and then drilled in German. Every single one passed this test and got his money.

Twitter feed


Visitors to this site

Flickr Photos

April 2007
« Mar   May »

Blog Stats

  • 147,537 hits
Lisa Valentine's Facebook profile