Undergraduates often ask me: “how can I get started in development?” These days, I am tempted to give them some unconventional advice: drive a cab.
One of my graduate students, Nathaniel Cogley, did just that–drove taxi in San Francisco. At night. While in school. With the money he made, he funded a two year trip to Africa and, at the end of it all, a superb documentary, From Dakar to Port Loko:
This film reminds me of joyful months spent in the field, talking to people about their everyday lives. We hear the Senegalese take on U.S. foreign policy, how to make a dime in Gambia, how to conserve a forest (and track orangutangs) in Guinea-Buissau, and what it takes to heal an amputated arm in Sierra Leone.
If you want to set up a screening at your university (I recommend it) contact Nathaniel.
The film is marketed to universities and high schools by Berkeley Media. If you want your library to purchase a copy, tell them to look here. It comes with full public performance rights. If you’re not a library or an educational institution, you can get a copy from Nathaniel directly. The music, by the way, rocks.
So remember, there is more than one path to working abroad. Be creative. And don’t forget to tip your cab driver.