Monday, 21 January 2013

Proverb of the day

Today’s #proverb from Nigeria: The lizard that jumped from the high Iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no-one else did

Thanks to: @BBCAfrica

Monday, 14 January 2013

What's In a Name?

On Development Language

Like in all fields and trades, international development is no exception in being specific in its language use. Any form of development can perhaps be considered a form of progress, a success measured by a positively changed state of being from a less desirable one. ProgressiveSouth will be an ever-evolving entity in itself, beginning here, in the North. To measure profit by not only fiscal, but by social gain, to seek progression without loss, teach others in the process and of course and to learn the entire time, from peers, mentors, friends and all those met along the road to progress. 

This poem was introduced to me by Dr. Simron Singh at the University of Waterloo, and it speaks for itself.

The Development Set
by Ross Coggins
Excuse me, friends, I must catch my jet
I’m off to join the Development Set;
My bags are packed, and I’ve had all my shots
I have traveller’s checks and pills for the trots!
The Development Set is bright and noble
Our thoughts are deep and our vision global;
Although we move with the better classes
Our thoughts are always with the masses.
In Sheraton Hotels in scattered nations
We damn multi-national corporations;
injustice seems easy to protest
In such seething hotbeds of social rest.
We discuss malnutrition over steaks
And plan hunger talks during coffee breaks.
Whether Asian floods or African drought,
We face each issue with open mouth.
We bring in consultants whose circumlocution
Raises difficulties for every solution –
Thus guaranteeing continued good eating
By showing the need for another meeting.
The language of the Development Set
Stretches the English alphabet;
We use swell words like “epigenetic”
“Micro”, “macro”, and “logarithmetic”
It pleasures us to be esoteric –
It’s so intellectually atmospheric!
And although establishments may be unmoved,
Our vocabularies are much improved.
When the talk gets deep and you’re feeling numb,
You can keep your shame to a minimum:
To show that you, too, are intelligent
Smugly ask, “Is it really development?”
Or say, “That’s fine in practice, but don’t you see:
It doesn’t work out in theory!”
A few may find this incomprehensible,
But most will admire you as deep and sensible.
Development set homes are extremely chic,
Full of carvings, curios, and draped with batik.
Eye-level photographs subtly assure
That your host is at home with the great and the poor.
Enough of these verses – on with the mission!
Our task is as broad as the human condition!
Just pray god the biblical promise is true:
The poor ye shall always have with you.
Adult Education and Development” September 1976