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Income generation and sustainability: The magic cure-all… or is it?

posted in: 2009, Mozambique - No Comments


Monday in Maxixe finds the internet down all around town. No emails, no Skype long distance phone calls, and saddest of all, no in-between time on facebook. What’s a person living in this modern age to do! Nick has been calling the internet company all morning trying to get the problem fixed. As expected with technology issues in Mozambique, it’s as of yet to no avail. The only answer the company provides is to say that there’s a glitch in the fiber-optic cable. Oh no! Not the fiber-optic cable! I have no idea what this is, but it sounds serious, right? I mean, you could blame the world’s end on a problem with the fiber-optic cable and I’d probably be convinced. And according to Nick, that’s oftentimes just what happens around here. If there’s a problem with the phones, it’s the fiber-optic cable. If the fax machine messes up, it’s got to be the fiber-optic cable. And if you’re late to work, just say the words “fiber-optic cable” and everyone will give a knowing nod and a look of unsolvable desperation. From what I’ve discovered, these are the three magic words in Maxixe. (Gosh, the thought of this creates many a-good Saturday Night Live skits in my head. Can’t you just see Tina Fey giving the Weekend Update and blaming the current economic crisis on the fiber-optic cable?) READ MORE

Hello from Mozambique

posted in: 2009, Mozambique (Tags: ) - 1 Comment

Aquarius Gilmer in the surf in Mozambique.

Matthew 13:44 “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

This morning I woke up with prayer on my mind and I could not stop thanking God for all the marvelous things (opening opportunities, safe travel, salvation, family, friends and anything else that I could think of) that God has done. I was led to this scripture Matthew 13:44 after Dr. Erskine, Maria and I left dinner last night with Mark, our supervisor here in Maputo.

While at dinner the topic of seminary arose. Dr. Erskine began a topic surrounding the idea that many people believe that seminary READ MORE

Gahmarjoba from Tbilisi!

posted in: 2009, Republic of Georgia (Tags: ) - No Comments

IRD workes conduct community surves to gauge needs in war-ravaged Georgia.

My impressions of women in Georgia were both surprising and in some ways, contradictory. Strong and proud are two words that come to mind first; fashionable, patriotic and vulnerable are others.  Women and the different kinds of work they do serve as a backbone to the renewal of this beautiful country, and also the vibrant business community of Tbilisi.

During our first full day on the ground, READ MORE

Greetings from Indonesia

posted in: 2009, Indonesia (Tags: ) - No Comments

Sunset in Jakarta, Indonesia

Salam, friends and family—

Well, I’ve been on the other side of the world for a week now and figure it’s time for an update. We spent our first week in Jakarta working at the IRD Indonesia headquarters. We were welcomed with warm greetings, our own desks, and a welcome lunch. The first week at the office, Kerr and I attended a few meetings, read articles about internally displaced people and learned several new phrases in Indonesian. I can now greet people at any time of the day, ask about prices in the market and maybe give directions. Kerr has mastered the numbers and is now officially in charge of exchanging money and making appointments.

Before I left for Indonesia, when I was researching online, I somehow missed READ MORE

Candler Students Work Globally for IRD

posted in: 2009, About - No Comments

Candler received a grant from International Relief and Development, Inc. to send seven student interns to service sites in the Republic of Georgia, Mozambique, Indonesia, and IRD headquarters in Washington, D.C. this summer. Six Candler students and one student from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health will be assessing a broad range of issues, including democracy and governance, HIV/AIDS, and community development.

Republic of Georgia
Clare Gibert, 2nd year MDiv student
Jason Kuder, 2nd year MDiv student

Clare and Jason are conducting community assessments regarding democracy and governance, workforce development/vocational education, and refugee conditions and accommodation.

Kerr Ramsay, 3rd year MDiv student
Gretchen Van Ess, 3rd year MDiv student

Kerr and Gretchen are working on community mapping, needs assessment in the areas of local governance and health, and conflict resolution through the IRD’s SERASI program.

Aquarius Gilmer, 2nd year MDiv student
Maria Presley, 2nd year MDiv student

Aquarius and Maria are working in the area of HIV/AIDS, studying different developmental stages of community-based organizations (CBOs) that are implementing home-based care activities in the Inhambane province of Mozambique.

Welcome to Mozambique

posted in: 2009, Mozambique (Tags: , ) - 1 Comment

Maria gets acclimated to her new environment

I face a conundrum as I begin to write this post: It is both impossible yet necessary to describe Mozambique in words. Impossible because the beauty of the people and the land here can only really be known firsthand. No words or 4 x 6 snapshots can depict the life that reverberates through this country like a drum. I was here one other time in 2005 and my attempt and failure in articulating the magic of Mozambique to the folks back home was my biggest problem. Forget the slowness of the internet connections or the constant lack of bathroom toilet paper. Nothing proved to be a bigger issue than putting this place into words. I return four years later and this problem is no better (and I’m sad to report that neither is my internet or toilet paper situation). My words will never do this country justice.

However, I believe that it is vitally important and perhaps even more necessary than ever to at least attempt to describe Mozambique, to put into words the sights and sounds of the country I see when I look out my window. READ MORE