The Dilemma and Difficulty of Being an Aid Worker in Ethiopia (or elsewhere)


You may or may not have noticed, but in Ethiopia a generation is protesting towards the ruling party EPRDF, having been in power since in 1991. These days, Ethiopia is mostly in the news for its booming economy, but in the past weeks, dozens if not hundreds of protesters have been killed in protests in […]

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Tips from professors to graduate students


What if you could ask professors anything about graduate school? Me and my fellow students at an introductory course were given this opportunity earlier this week. We tapped into the wisdom of five professors sitting in front of the classroom, ready to answer our questions. Here goes, from professors to students, things you need to know about […]

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American hunger

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Tampa is my new hometown. It is a city which belongs to the greater Tampa Bay Area, home to roughly 4.5 million people. I am shocked to find out that 700 000 people in this area are food insecure. One in four children and one in six adults have trouble putting food on the table or […]

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First Day of Grad School


Everything in America is bigger, right? My campus is so big that it has its own bus system. You can get lost. I did. That’s how big it is. Yet it wasn’t this aspect of it that I paid attention to during my first day. My first thoughts were: It’s too hot and I’m old. The campus was swarming with […]

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Here We Go


2016, I’ll look back at you one day when I’m old and say: that was the year we moved to Florida! I was thirty years old and happier than ever. I felt the world was in turbulent times. Or was that simply something all generations had in common? A feeling of the world being in worse […]

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Tips for (international) students applying to grad schools in the United States


Many people have asked me how I got into grad school in the U.S. Did you apply independently? How will you finance it all? Aren’t tuition fees impossible to cover? These are the most common questions. So here are some tips for anyone who is interested in applying. The application round for PhD studies starting in Fall […]

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Famine, on stage


In 1994, South African Kevin Carter took a photograph on an assignment in Sudan. In this photograph we see a small child lying on the ground, visibly undernourished and weak, while a vulture stands behind the child, as if stalking it. The photo became an icon. It won a Pulitzer price. We think about famine and […]

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Fat shaming is not the way to go to beat obesity


The news keep flooding in. The world now has more obese people than hungry people, according to a new study published in Lancet which assembled body mass index data of almost 20 million people over the course of nearly 40 years. Diabetes, according to a recent report by WHO, is now the world’s 8th most […]

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We are moving to Florida!


Here’s the next big move for our little family: we are moving to Tampa, Florida! There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say, then again most things that have happened in the past years have not been imprinted in my life plan. Just riding the waves of life. That’s right. I am giving you wave […]

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Buggin’ out


Some two years back I was sitting in a car in rural Amhara in Ethiopia when the air suddenly went black. Hundreds upon hundreds locusts, those short-horned grasshoppers, swarmed past us like thick smoke. The locals kept it cool. This happened on a regular basis, I was told, and luckily locusts do not usually cause damage […]

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