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Showing posts from 2010

AT&T Don't Text While Driving Documentary

Merry Christmas to you all!

Christmas Day, December 25 2010: It's that special time of the year when kids get rewarded for being good. Santa brings the rewards, rain or shine, winter or summer. The kids were very excited to receive their gifts from Santa. We spent the morning opening gifts and assembling toys. Kids loved it! Actually, we all did. Thank God for the day.

We wish you and yours a wonderful day and many more wonderful days ahead!

A Touching Poem...... (on the perils of drinking and driving)

A Touching Poem......

I went to a party Mom,
I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom,
So I drank soda instead.

I really felt proud inside, Mom,
The way you said I would.
I didn't drink and drive, Mom,
Even though the others said I should.

I know I did the right thing, Mom,
I know you are always right.
Now the party is finally ending, Mom,
As everyone is driving out of sight.

As I got into my car, Mom,
I knew I'd get home in one piece.
Because of the way you raised me,
So responsible and sweet..

I started to drive away, Mom,
But as I pulled out into the road,
The other car didn't see me, Mom,
And hit me like a load.

As I lay there on the pavement, Mom,
I hear the policeman say,
"The other guy is drunk," Mom,
And now I'm the one who will pay.

I'm lying here dying, Mom....
I wish you'd get here soon.
How could this happen to me, Mom?
My life just burst like a balloon..

There is blood all around me, Mom,

Book review: I Was a Secret...But Not Anymore: A Memoir (Queen Juliet El Shaddai)

Book review: I Was a Secret...But Not Anymore: A Memoir (Hardcover) By  Queen Juliet El Shaddai   (Author)  This book is about the personal life of Juliet, a Sierra Leonean lady, who endured the pains of domestic violence and abusive relationships. The book is full of sad moments covering the period of her early childhood, the war in Sierra Leone, her adventures in Senegal, etc. One can easily relate to these events, even if you have never been a victim yourself. Sometimes people get trapped and do not realize that they are victims until it is too late. In some cases, the perpetrators (abusers) may not also be fully aware of the long-term implications of their actions.
Juliet's story is about hope and survival. A recommended reading. You can purchase a copy at or other bookstores.

Sierra Leone Launches Nationwide Malaria Campaign

Photo: AFP Photo: A mother and her child sit on a bed covered with a mosquito net in Africa, 30 Oct 2009 Sierra Leone launches a $23 million anti-malaria campaign Thursday, aiming to get treated mosquito nets into every household in the country.

Nicknamed the "White Man's Grave" in the nineteenth century by British colonials because of the high death rates from malaria, Sierra Leone has a long h…

Eradicating malaria: Experts say efforts to beat malaria may backfire (extract from BBC News)

Efforts to eradicate malaria in some countries may be counter-productive, an international team of researchers suggest.

Read full article here -->

Shrinking map
Malaria is caused by five species of a parasite that can be carried from human to human by mosquitoes.
Over the last 150 years, the portion of the world where malaria is still endemic has shrunk, but the disease is still endemic in 99 countries.
However 32 of these countries, most of them on the edges of the endemic zone, are attempting to eradicate the disease, while the rest are trying to reduce infections and deaths though control measures.
But switching from a policy of controlling the disease to one of eradication brings with it problems and risks, according to the report.
The authors point out that malaria and mosquitoes do not respect national borders and that both parasite and insect may develop resistance to existing drugs.
They also warn switching funds from co…

Dakar, or is it "Darker"?

The persistent power problem in Dakar, and the rest of Senegal, is hitting its inhabitants very hard. This thriving West African nation has become very dependent on electricity to the point that when electricity fails, the water supply fails too. Most residences (including mine) endures water shortages to compound the electricity problem as the pump that drives the water ceases to function. No electricity no water!

To complicate matters further, there is now constant shortage of cooking gas!

Dakar is obviously not the darkest city in West Africa, but it is indeed becoming "Darker".

See article from Reuters: "Senegal sacks minister as anger over power cuts grows"

Eradicating malaria: a missed opportunity?

Read about how we failed to eradicate malaria in the world. A missed opportunity indeed.
My question is: Why control something that can be eradicated?
Where there's no will, there's no way...
Click here for the full article from CDC.

Book Review: Sandbox Wisdom - Revolutionize your business with the genius of childhood (by Tom Asacker)

I have developed the habit of taking a "good" book with me for reading on the plane or at airports when traveling. It does lower the frustration of waiting for delayed flights or sitting in a plane wondering what to do with your time.

This time round, I took "Sandbox Wisdom" to read on my flight from Dakar (Senegal) to Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). It turned out to be an interesting experience. The book is very provocative and inspiring. It makes you recall the child in you and the beauty of innocence. Coming to think of it, if we behave like children, then there will be no problems in this world. In the mind of a child, everything is possible. As we grow older, we become too self-conscious and concerned about the risk of failure and we start making excuses for not trying. The focus shifts from "how it can be done", to "why it cannot be done."

The flight was quite smooth though the we landed in Bamako as if we were shot down from the sky. To make …

Remembering September 11, 2001: Killing in God's name or Killing God's name?

Today marks the 9th anniversary of the September 11 attacks; a day that came to be known simply as 911; a day that will never be forgotten, but most importantly, a sad day for humanity - for the billions of people who believe in the existence of a one true God. A day for reflection.

If the love of God and the fear of his wrath implies that one should neither take his/her own life nor the life of others, how can someone kill in God's name? Or is it an attempt in killing God's name?

Throughout recorded history, the world's major religions have been embroiled in violence; desperate to either gain new converts - sometimes, by any means necessary - or to gain territory to consolidate power. All are guilty of a violent past and in using God's name to justify their actions. Religion has been used as justification to deprive fellow humans of their basic rights. Religion has been used as justification to enslave people. Religion has been used as justification to kill, to insult…

Hunger-Fighting Word Game FreeRice Is Now Social! (source: WFP)

Hunger-Fighting Word Game FreeRice Is Now Social!

Hunger-Fighting Word Game FreeRice Is Now Social! Published on 07 September 2010 share + Players of the new Free Rice can log-in using their Facebook or Twitter profiles, share the amount of rice they've raised and create groups to play with friends or classmates. The viral word game that builds vocabulary while feeding the hungry has had a major upgrade that’s made it even more addictive than before. Players of the new version will be able to compete with friends, tout their scores on Facebook and play on the go by mobile phone – all while fighting hunger. Check it out! ROME – FreeRice went "social” on Tuesday with the arrival of a highly anticipated upgrade, which draws on the power of online communities to attract new players, raise more rice and spread awareness about fighting hunger.The new version combines the fun and easy gameplay of the original with the fun of social media, allowing players…

The Fastest Helicopter on Earth: article from IEEE Spectrum

The Fastest Helicopter on Earth
Helicopters have many advantages, but speed is not one of them. Until now the greatest speed ever reached by a helicopter was no better than what a 1923 biplane could do. But Sikorsky Aircraft aims to shatter that speed record by combining active stabilization, software-simplified controls, and an unusual coaxial rotor design.
Read more.

What an E-Waste (interesting article on electronic waste: Source - IEEE Spectrum)

Interactive Map: What an E-Waste
Consumer electronics, critics charge, are designed for the dump. The latest gizmo enjoys a year or two of cutting-edge relevance and another two to five collecting dust. Then we throw it away, often to another part of the world. This map shows where e-waste originates and where it ends up. 
Read more.

ISD Boys Scout 2010 - End of Year Awards

ISD 2010 - EndOfYearAwards

Visiting Niger - the floods after the drought

I returned to Niamey on Friday 13th August from a visit to a place called Zinder (east of Niamey). It is about 3 hours by air with a short stop in Maradi. On the return leg, we encountered some stormy weather as the rains keep pouring on this once barren land.

I was also able to see, first hand, the damage caused by the floods in Niamey on the banks of the River Niger.

Ramadan mubarak!

Muslims around the world have started fasting during this Holy Month of Ramadan. I believe, for the majority of Muslims, if not all, Ramadan started on Wednesday 11 August.

I pray that Allah accepts your prayers and fasting.

Visiting Niger - the Sahel food crisis response

I arrived in Niger in the early hours of this morning, Tuesday 10 August, after a stop-over in Casablanca (on transit) from Dakar.
Niger and most parts of the Sahel are suffering from a major food crisis, with close to 8 million people affected in Niger alone! This is a real natural disaster - resulting from failed harvest due to drought.
The World Food Programme and its humanitarian partners are in the midst of a massive emergency operation to save lives of those affected by this crisis.

This happens to be my second visit to Niger this year, as part of support towards this humanitarian response.