Remember when I said things would be wonky around here?

And then I said I would be done by 9:00?

And three days later, the blog is still wonky?

Well … the wonkiness will probably last a bit, but I’m finally FINALLY on the way to a blog I like the look of. While I expect I’ll continue to tweak the look and organization over the next several weeks, I think that the big changes are done for the moment.

Still on my TODO list:

  • Finalize the color scheme (I am in love with orange lately)
  • Finish re(organizing) my categories and pages
  • Reinstall my plugins and widgets in the sidebar
  • Go through each category and select “best of” for my archives.

It may take me another month or two to get through all of that, but I’d say I’m on a fair way to finally having a blog I love again.

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack (I hope)!

I haven’t been writing because life has been completely overwhelming lately. Well, not just life. Life in the Foreign Service, which ties so closely to work as to make it impossible to write about life without also writing about work. I didn’t realize until I logged in today that I hadn’t actually published a post since November. Whoops.

There’s a great deal of discussion in the FS blogging community about “free speech” and what can and can’t be posted, and what officers say to their EFMs who write blog psots that may poke at sensitive spots in the FS community. There’s a bit less discussion about officers themselves who write. Self-censorship has made writing about what I do here in Freetown harder than I expected.

In any case, I miss writing. For a short while, scrapbooking largely filled my relentless need to record and describe what was going on around me. I’ve found that while I value that creative endeavor for and of itself, it’s no substitute for blogging. I’ve managed to get my work schedule back under control, and I no longer need to be at the office at 6:45 every morning to make sure that the wheels won’t fly off the track every day. I’m still an early riser, so I hope to use this extra time in the mornings to write, write, and write some more.

Changes are a-comin’!

I cannot maintain more than one blog. There, I said it. It’s too much effort to have to think about tone, professionalism, cross-over, and what my State colleagues and future supervisors will think of everyhing.

I’d intended to keep blogging about food and homemaking on HMNIT, and professionally on SVO, but Foreign Service is life is that I’m not actually doing much professional blogging these days. SVO has been around for almost 7 years. It got me through Peace Corps, People Online, and now, the Foreign Service. I don’t want to shutter it.


Today I merged himynameistheresa with SubjectVerbOject.


I’ve never felt guilty about being one of the haves. I was born white, middle-class, straight, Protestant to parents who saw that I got a good education, gave me a love of reading and learning, and who were well enough that I could take off to see the world straight out of college. Privilege is my middle name. I’m OK with that, but I spend a lot of time thinking about how these privileges can be extended to everyone else.

It’s particularly jarring as I prepare for the consumerist orgy that is buying our consumables on World Food Day.

Needless to say, I’m not as active here lately as I have been in the past. I find myself reluctant to speak about development, foreign policy, and even the role of ICTs in emerging economies in such a public forum, particularly when I’m not 100% at ease with myself and how my small family is readjusting to living in the States.

Fear not! I haven’t stopped writing entirely! I just do it in different places. I’m still chatting endlessly about health, pregnancy, and food at himynameistheresa. My latest project, just launched with several other Foreign Service folks, is Hardship Homemaking, where we writing about cooking from scratch, whole foods, and making a home at hardship posts. Look for lots of recipes from me, straight out of Benin!

Check ‘em out and let me know what you think!

Edited to note that himynameistheresa is now defuct.

On my new job (yes, I am just that awesome)

I have a new job. I mean, a new job in addition to running Benin’s most successful web development firm. Jon Gosier at Appfrica just relaunched and hired my magnificent self to blog about technology, entrepreneurship, and other awesomeness in Africa. I’m getting paid to write about things I love!

I know, I know, I know. Half of you don’t care about tech in Africa, and the other half of you wish I’d write about nothing but. Now everybody’s happy!

Along with all that comes absolutely no change here at SVO. I will still be blogging with stunning irregularity. I will still be complaining about annoying expats. I will still be utterly awesome in every way.

I will still be full of myself. I will be even more full of myself.