sábado, 12 de setembro de 2009

Early 2007 I decided to go to East Timor to work as a Computer Engineering teacher in the National University for one semester. I was leaving to the other side of the world, I would be living in a very different time zone (9 hours of difference between Portugal and Timor!) and I was very excited to learn about the first country of the millennium, which used to be a Portuguese colony. Once again, I decided to create a new blog to easily share some stories about my new experience with family and friends despite the physical distance.

I named it CouldIHaveBeen.blog.com and it was simply about sarita - me! - in timor lorosa'e - which is the name of the country in tétum, the local language, meaning both East Timor and Timor of the Rising Sun. I remember creating the blog and sending an email to all my friends, family and former colleagues from the company where I was working, saying "here's where you can find me!".

Now that I am reading parts of it again, I realize that I am a blogger especially because I have always enjoyed writing a lot. I carry a notebook and a pen with me since I can remember. My second blog was a kind of a diary that I could share with my dearest friends that were very faraway from me.

Through a literary approach complemented with pictures and quoting poems, I would describe my day to day activities while reflecting on the impact that such culture was having in my own way of perceiving life.

Back then, as I checked the statistics I could see that it was also calling the attention of new visitors who were probably interested in East Timor situation, which is not very disseminated. I was thrilled to arrive home and check my mailbox seeing that people were actually reading me and commenting my thoughts.

Nevertheless this blog ended with a tragical event. I had a big car accident in the mountains of East Timor and I had to come back home sooner than I expected. It was a very tough year for me and I had no will to write more than complaining about it, so I decided to stop.

A few months later, however, a new blog (this one!!) would come as a therapy. But once again, that's a new story, on a different blog, coming in a different post :)


This post is an open letter to my mentee Hawah Abdul, a Kenyan activist who is taking part of an educational program in Copenhagen, Denmark called Global Change.

She works for a non-governmental organization called Centre for Conflict Resolution(CCR-Kenya), together with the Youths in promoting peaceful coexistence amongst diverse communities, mainly capacity building, advocacy, and community mobilization. She says that most of their targets are the pastoralists who normally conflict over pasture and water which results from the Climate Changes in Kenya. Hawah expects the Global Change course to help her carry out her duties more effectively including campaigns and advocacy.

A new collaboration between MS ActionAid / Global Change and the Global Voices Online, which I'm part of, has lead to the creation of a mentor-project. That's where I come in. I will be Hawah's blogging-mentor until mid-October, and I hope that we through the coming weeks will have a chance to engage in some interesting dialogues on everything relating to blogging.

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