I’m an MSF volunteer now!

I got the letter from MSF in New York today, and I have been entered into their pool of available volunteers! This is what I’ve been working towards for over a year, and I’m really happy! As well as the good kind of scared you get when ambitious tasks present themselves to you! The next…

My interview with MSF

Today I had my interview with MSF. It went pretty well, I think. I was well prepared, both for the interview and for the multiple choice test they give logisticians. In the interview I got a number of chances to explain how I think my past experiences will help me do the job. Molly asked…

Woofer for hire!

Just in time for my upcoming MSF interview, I’ve finished my WFR (pronounced “woofer”) certification. I don’t know if my interviewer will ask about first aid skills, but I can guarantee you that I’ll find a way to tell her! I’m really proud of this certification, not just because of the skills it gives me…

Wilderness First Responder in the making

I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been hanging around the Bay Area. I did a contract for my old boss at his new employer, and some other random undirected hanging out I can’t really remember. Oh, I think it involved postponing writing code by taking the dog to the dog park. I’ve also been…

Got an MSF interview!

Some great news on the relief work job hunt: I got a phone call from MSF USA the other day to set up an interview. It will be on April 12, here in San Francisco. The nice lady from MSF told me that what made the difference were recommendations I got from ex-MSF volunteers. Thanks…

A humanitarian aid bibliography

Here’s a list of the books I’ve been reading over the last year and a half as I figure out how the relief world works. Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures. A sometimes funny, sometimes scathing, sometimes touching story of three aid workers working in the UN system in the 90’s. Will not leave a…

The Onion knows why I want to work overseas

The highly respected journal of international development and humanitarian aid, The Onion, has a fascinating article on relief worker motivations. Wink, wink. Update: MSF’s own website backs up the Onion’s claims. Check out the contents of the life support kit for 8 staff members (KADMKLIF08). Yeah, there on the third page… CONDOM, lubricated + RESERVOIR…

How my talk went

My talk on Monday went just fine. It was fun to see people that I’d met in Hancock County again, and the hard work I’d put in to the supporting documentation paid off. I saw several people reading my report. One interesting thing was that though everyone was dressed in suits to show proper respect…

Giving my talk today

I’m in Jackson, Mississippi today giving my talk on the work Radio Response did in Hancock County. I’ve been burning the midnight oil the last few days getting the following documents ready: The Little Talk (100 kilobyte PDF file) The Big Report (2.2 megabyte PDF file) If you find a typo, please don’t tell me…

Mr. Allen goes to Washington (well, Jackson)

I have been invited to give a 10 minute talk about our team’s work in Hancock County, Mississippi in front of the FCC Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks. My talk will be in the afternoon of March 6, in Jackson Mississippi. Feel free to drop by if you are…