Monday, June 15, 2009


A boda-boda ride with Dennis Ewalu

From The Guardian, here's a brief video showing the day in the life of a bicycle taxi driver in Uganda.

I've long wanted to follow a motorcycle or bicycle taxi to see what kind of money they make, what a day looks like. This is also a great example of someone who might want to join a savings and credit association. Small, somewhat irregular income ... could use some lump sums of capital, not really in the market for a microcredit loan.

Here's the summary:

Started with a loan from his brother to buy a bicycle frame only, worked hard for the rest.
Rides 45 minutes one-way, 3 days a week, to get to Soroti Town for the better business.
Best day yields about 10,000 Ugandan Shillings ($4.64 USD) from 10-12 customers.
Supports himself, a wife, his mother, and 6 children.
Pays for primary school, uniforms, books ... and he also saves.
One day hopes to buy a house with corrugated roofing and also some oxen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


My eulogy for the funeral yesterday, 6/9/09, 4pm.

Her obituary in the Pensacola News Journal:
Polly Baranco died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her family on June 5, 2009.
She was born in Pensacola, FL on October 28, 1923 to Mary Alice and John Hall Sherrill. She graduated from Pensacola High School, attended Randolph Macon Women's College her first two years and graduated from the University of Alabama. She was married to the late Dr. Paul F. Baranco. Polly was devoted to her family, friends and to her community and spent the majority of her life in volunteer endeavors. She was a charter member of the Junior League of Pensacola and a former president of the league as well as receiving one of its highest awards, the Joan B. Gonzalez Award for volunteer work at the Pensacola Public Library. Polly was an active member of the Friends of the Library, the Escambia County Medical Auxiliary, having served as president, and she and her late husband were Founding Board Members at Azalea Trace. Polly was a life-time member of the First Presbyterian Church and a loyal member of the Calvin Sunday School Class.
She is survived by her daughter Fran Hartley (Ted) and her son Paul Francis "Speed" Baranco, Jr. (Sian), four grandchildren, Thomas Bryan Hartley (Gina), Robert Paul Hartley (Danielle), Nicholas Paul Baranco, and Matthew Patrick Baranco, one great grandchild Taylor Ashlyn Hartley, a sister-in-law Joe Sherrill, and many nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews who loved her dearly.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her sister Peggy Bach, and her brothers Frontis W. Sherrill, John Hall Sherrill, Jr., and Alan Prather Sherrill.
A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, June 9, 2009, at 4:00 PM followed by visitation in the church parlor.
Memorials, if desired, may be made to Friends of the Library; Covenant Hospice, 5041 N. 12th Ave. Pensacola, FL or to a charity of your choice.
Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Published in the Pensacola News Journal on 6/9/2009

Kagame on aid and African prosperity

Africa Has to Find Its Own Road to Prosperity
Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Financial Times
Government activities should focus on supporting entrepreneurship not just to meet these new goals, but because it unlocks people’s minds, fosters innovation and enables people to exercise their talents.
This article popped up in a conversation about Moyo's Dead Aid (HT: Joe's friend Claire).